After putting one hand on the League Cup trophy with a victory against Stoke in the semi-final, Liverpool put out a relatively young squad for the 4th round FA Cup tie against West Ham and earned a replay at Upton Park.
Randolp was at his best in between the sticks giving Liverpool nothing away as both teams ended the game 0-0. Jurgen Klopp who already spoke about the congestion in the fixture list seemed to be happy as the replay will give the youngsters another chance to perform against a strong team.
When asked if the second string Liverpool side would do the job and if it was demeaning the opposition, Klopp said, “There is nothing to say. It is how it is. I think the most important thing is everyone could see our lineup was not disrespectful to the FA Cup,”
“It was the other way around. We thought this was the best chance for us to go through.”
The young Liverpool side did really well for most parts of the game and should have really ran away with the victory if they were a bit clinical in the final third.
“They have not played together often but this young team did really well.”
“We had a good structure. We had chances. We should have scored in one of the other situations. At the end it is a draw. Now we play again.”
Klopp also spoke about the increasing number of matches and the need to finish games in the first outing. He was asked if the extra fixture against West Ham will change his transfer plans and Klopp was all smiles about it.
“With all the things we did until now the only things we have created are next games.” Klopp said.
“We buy a team for the rematch? Ten players or 11?” he joked. “It should not be the reason, one game more.
“We could rest the team [who played against] Stoke so we will have fresh legs against Leicester [on Tuesday]. That is good news.
“It doesn’t feel brilliant in this moment but when we go to West Ham we will have the chance to go again into the next round.
“Hopefully one of the players will come back from injuries in the next few weeks.”
A number of academy graduates made a name for themselves in the game with some eye catching performances including Brannagan and Stewart who bossed the mid-field against the Hammers.
Klopp was all praises for his youngsters.
“They did really well. Kevin Stewart – five weeks ago, he was at Swindon Town and didn’t play too often.
“Brad Smith – a big step in the right direction. That’s really cool. [Sheyi] Ojo came in and again did well, you could see. And Jerome Sinclair.
“There’s a lot of potential, that’s what we said before. That’s very important. It’s not only important to know about it; the players have to show it, but you have to show them that you see their steps.
“That’s what we tried. If they could have played as well as I trust them to, then it would have been a lot better because I know they can do better. But it was good, really good, and I’m pleased.”
“These boys would have deserved to win tonight but it is like it is. We will have a team for West Ham and maybe it’s not too far away from this team today.”
The youngsters surely deserve more chances in the first team but the German felt that they are training well and ready to help their senior team and fill in whenever needed.
“They are only in our squad because they are an option for us, but we have to decide always if it is the right moment or not.”
“Young lads, especially, very often have waves in their development – it can be good, or if you bring them in in the wrong moment then it’s not too good for their development.
“We’re always in touch with the Under-21s and a few of them are always in our training. In the last few days we had 27 players in training and made two teams from that, so that’s good. It’s not the moment to talk about who will break through, they have time and that’s the best thing in life.
“They have enough pressure, you don’t have to make that pressure bigger. We will try to push them, try to help them and hopefully all of them will play sometime in the starting line-up.”
Liverpool travel to Leicester City on Tuesday in their next round in the Premier League.