Jurgen Klopp handed three players their senior Liverpool debuts for the trip to Norwich City in the third round of the Carabao Cup, which the Reds won by a convincing three-goal margin
Jurgen Klopp was delighted with the “really strong” performances of Liverpool’s three debutants in the Reds’ Carabao Cup victory over Norwich City.
18-year-old Conor Bradley and 16-year-old Kaide Gordon lined up at right-back and right-wing respectively as the Reds travelled to Carrow Road on Tuesday night. They were joined by midfielder Tyler Morton at half-time as the 18-year-old replaced Naby Keita.
Each member of the teenage trio played their part as Liverpool advanced to the fourth round with a 3-0 win in which Takumi Minamino scored twice and Divock Origi grabbed the other goal.
Klopp was especially impressed by Bradley and Gordon’s physicality to play the full match against the Canaries.
“The kids did exceptionally well. All three really strong. A big surprise they could go 94 minutes,” Klopp told Sky Sports .
Asked whether he feels under pressure to play Liverpool’s youngsters, the Reds boss responded: “Only when they are good enough. That’s it.
“You saw Conor Bradley tonight, I’m not sure… I heard the first Northern Irish player to play since 1954 – sounds anyway too long – but great great thing and he played a super game.
“Kaide Gordon he’s ready for these moments, he’s just ready, 16, he had really good moments. But what impressed me was physicality, he can go on for 95 minutes.”
Klopp admitted Liverpool were “not perfect”, with attacking-minded midfielder Curtis Jones operating as a No.6 throughout the first half.
But the German was pleased with how Morton bolstered his side in the centre of the park throughout the second half, saying: “Tyler he gave us the opportunity to connect again because he played simple, passed in the right spaces, defended in the right spaces.
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“So that was a really good game of all these three boys, they play because they are good enough.”
Quizzed about the depth in his squad, Klopp said: “I was never in doubt. Bobby (Roberto Firmino) trained yesterday so he will be back soon.
“We have two mids out and we should make sure that number doesn’t get bigger, but the start of the season was good for the whole squad. A lot more to come.”
Klopp was also impressed by the way his team responded to late changes to their set-up, adding: “We had to make too many changes to have natural solutions for the problems.
“[We] Started really well, really aggressive, really lively, but we didn’t train that as some decisions were made late.”