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“Do a lot better”- Klopp highlights where youngsters can improve after Liverpool beat Shrewsbury

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp reflects on FA Cup victory against Shrewsbury Town

Speaking after his side’s 4-1 win against Shrewsbury Town in the third round of the FA Cup, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was jubilant about the team’s performance (h/t Liverpool Echo).

The Reds have had their fair share of injuries and COVID-19 cases to worry about over the past few weeks, with even Klopp being sidelined for the previous game after contracting the virus. Tonight, the German put out a youthful XI for the cup clash, with starlet Kaide Gordon even getting on the scoresheet.

Liverpool had to come from behind in the first half after Shrewsbury took the lead through Daniel Udoh’s first-time strike after a dangerous cross was sent into the Reds’ box. The Merseyside club responded with four goals at the end of ninety minutes, and Klopp praised his players for their performance.

“This was the team that could line up today and the boys did well. Difficult game that became more difficult when we concede, the boys put in a proper shift.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was a happy man after his side's performance in their FA Cup clash against Shrewsbury Town
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was a happy man after his side’s performance in their FA Cup clash against Shrewsbury Town.

There were several fresh faces in the Liverpool line-up today, with first senior starts for Max Woltman and Elijah Dixon-Bonner. They joined Academy players Kaide Gordon, Conor Bradley, and Tyler Morton in representing the club tonight and putting in impressive shifts that pleased their manager.

Klopp was forced to make several changes to the line-up today due to a supposed COVID-19 outbreak in the squad, with a lot of the players having false-positive results showing up recently. However, with the rules requiring players to test negative for them to make the team sheet, the German manager had to play some of the Academy kids against Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup fixture.

Klopp reflected on the tough week the club have had with news of the outbreak, admitting that Trent Alexander-Arnold had tested positive. However, he quickly moved to praise the efforts of his younger players and how they responded to getting their chance with the first team.

“I am delighted [with Gordon and Bradley] but they can do a lot better. Conor can be the future and Kaide is obviously an adult, finishing-wise but all the rest he is a kid. A lot to improve but I am really happy for him. Elijah should be happy too.”

Liverpool youngster Kaide Gordon scored a goal today in the FA Cup third-round clash against Shrewsbury Town
Liverpool youngster Kaide Gordon scored a goal today in the FA Cup third-round clash against Shrewsbury Town.

It is certainly an exciting time to be a Liverpool fan, watching our youngsters take to the pitch and put in a display that got everyone talking about them. Although Klopp was forced to play the kids, he would be happy to see them justify their selection.

The win against Shrewsbury Town was also impressive, with the youngsters pressing hard for a win today after going a goal down and responding quickly since. It will certainly provide them with a platform for greater things as and when Klopp requires them to step in and cover for our senior stars.

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Seeing Firmino back on the scoresheet also would have brought a smile to the Kop, with a typical nonchalant backheel goal scored by the Brazilian in the second half. The forward hasn’t had an easy time this season, overlooked due to Diogo Jota’s impressive run, but today’s goal would have been a reminder for Klopp not to dismiss the former Hoffenheim man so easily.

With this resounding victory, we now face Cardiff City in the fourth round of the FA Cup on either the 29th or 30th of January, and our youngsters will hope that their performances today will deem them worthy of a call up once against Cardiff.