Stand-in Liverpool boss Neil Critchley says some of the squad to face Aston Villa on Tuesday in the League Cup quarter-final will fly out to Qatar.
Liverpool have two matches in the space of less than 24 hours with the Champions League winners facing Monterrey in Qatar at 5.30pm on Wednesday.
That led to the unusual step of Liverpool selecting two separate squads for each game, but Critchley, who joked he was hoping to travel out to the Middle East, said on Monday at his news conference that “one or two” might find themselves heading out to join up with the senior squad.
“It’s a great opportunity for all of us. I’ll be very proud. The pride I have will come from the players I work with. I will be immensely proud of the players who take to the pitch. No better feeling for a coach when the players who represent you going and play,” said Critchley.
“There’s a flight waiting. One or two might take that journey to Qatar, I might try and sneak on myself.
“I don’t know who is on stand-by. Will see who gets the call after it.”
The Liverpool U23s boss also admitted that the decision to take mainly an Under-23 squad to Villa Park was made above his pay grade.
“The decision was taken above me, that was for the club to decide. It’s a unique set of circumstances. We tried to find the best solution. Myself and the players will benefit from that. We can’t wait. We will give everything we have,” said Critchley.
“I’m excited, really looking forward to it. We can’t lose really. Give it all we’ve got be there for each other. These players want a tough challenge and that’s the next step it is the toughest. I hope they go and prove to everyone what they’re capable of.
“We’ve got to be there for each other from the first whistle. We always try and dominate the game, we know that will be difficult tomorrow.
“I hope they go and prove to everyone watching tomorrow night what they’re capable of.”
Jurgen Klopp fielded a youthful side in the previous round against Arsenal, but the line-up against Villa will be entirely made up of youngsters and even the more experienced of those – Curtis Jones and Neco Williams have travelled to Qatar.
“Any experience like this will help. That Arsenal game was an unbelievable evening. Part of my job is to put the players in situations where they learn and are outside their comfort zone. This will be. I think the team tomorrow will take so much from the experience,” added Critchley.
Predicted line-up: Kelleher; Hoever, Boyes, Van den Berg, Larouci; Chirivella, Christie-Davies, Kane; Elliott, Longstaff, Stewart.