Liverpool’s under-23 boss Neil Critchley has shared to Sky Sports (broadcast on 17/12; 21:51) what Dean Smith and John Terry said in the Reds’ dressing room after their Carabao Cup tie with Aston Villa on Tuesday night.
Villa have booked their place in the semi-finals of the competition after an emphatic win. However, while the scoreline read 5-0, Liverpool’s youngsters certainly did not disgrace themselves.
They had more attempts on goal than the home side. And a number of players showed that they look set for extremely bright futures on Merseyside in the coming years.
And Critchley – who was, of course, standing in for Jurgen Klopp – explained how both Smith and Terry came into the Reds’ dressing room to offer some words of encouragement following the full-time whistle.
“I’ve got to say that conduct of the Aston Villa players all night was first-class. The way they played the game and the way they looked after our boys,” he told Sky Sports.
“[They said] How difficult we made it for them. They thought we’ve got some really good players. Keep going, good luck and they wished us all the best for the future. It will be a moment that I remember and the players remember for the rest of our lives.”
There looks to be several players who impressed the supporters with their performances. They will be extremely disappointed that they could not get closer to causing an upset. But they have no reason to be disappointed in themselves.
Liverpool created enough chances to spring a surprise. But unfortunately, Villa killed off the game by half-time and got through the second-half with their clean sheet in tact.
But based on the performances from the majority of the Liverpool players, it will almost certainly not be the last time that they come up against the likes of Smith and Terry and clubs playing at the highest level.