Jurgen Klopp reserved praise for Cameron Brannagan, Connor Randall and Adam Bogdan after Liverpool’s Capital One Cup win over Bournemouth.
Nathaniel Clyne scored the only goal in the 17th minute at Anfield on Wednesday night to earn Liverpool a quarter-final tie at Southampton.
Klopp made nine changes from the team that drew at home to Southampton on Sunday, retaining only Clyne and Divock Origi, with Academy products Brannagan, Randall and Joao Carlos all handed starts.
“First of all I’ve been here about two weeks and I saw these guys in training,” Klopp said afterwards. “Not only them but Pedro (Chirivella) and (Jerome) Sinclair.
“They were mostly with us in training so I saw them and for me it was clear that the first chance I could give them, I would do it and that was tonight.
“Some players needed a break and these players I was completely sure they had the quality to help us tonight and that’s what they did.
“It was really not easy. One week ago I said it’s not so easy to rotate if you bring in players who didn’t play together. That’s right.
“What we saw tonight was not all of them’, but it was the best they could do and so I’m completely satisfied.
“For example Cameron Brannagan has a very difficult position in the system we played today, in the half space as an eight. It’s really not easy to defend this position.
“Connor Randall, all the long balls they played were in his space so if he was not a good header before this game, now he is much better because he had the chance to improve 20 or 30 times!
“So I’m really fine with these guys and the other players too. I saw it in the eyes of all the players that they wanted to win this game.”
Klopp also praised Roberto Firmino, Bogdan and the general performance of his side.
“Adam (Bogdan) was brilliant but for this we have goalkeepers! But for the rest of the game we were the better team, with a completely new team. That’s really cool.
“We had our common movements, moving into the right space, attacking at the right moment, always attacking when they have to defend. They want to do what I say, that’s important.
“I’m nearly surprised it’s so good in this moment.
“These young players don’t think too much. That’s important. They think about football, not about pressure. I think they know why they won.”
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