Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was delighted after the Reds moved into the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup following a 1-0 win over Bournemouth at Anfield on Wednesday night (28 October). This was the German manager's first win since taking over from Brendan Rodgers earlier in the month.
Nathaniel Clyne scored the winner, after debutant Joao Carlos Teixiera's back heel flick was cleared off the line by the goalkeeper in to the path of the right-back. The Merseyside club will travel to St Mary's for their last-eight clash against Southampton.
Meanwhile, the former Borussia Dortmund manager made a host of changes to the team that drew with the Saints in the Premier League on Sunday (25 October), while handing full debuts to three youth team players. Connor Randall, Cameron Brannagan and Carlos Teixiera made their debut for the first-team and the trio held their own against the Cherries, eliciting high praise from Klopp.
The 48-year-old German manager has been full of praise for the youngsters at the club, and believes that the League Cup clash was the perfect time to hand the young stars their debut. Brannagan, who signed a new long-term deal with the Anfield outfit earlier this week, was singled out by the manager, with the young midfielder showing great composure in a deep lying midfield role alongside Joe Allen.
"First of all I've been here about two weeks and I saw these guys in training. 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," Klopp said, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.
"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," he added.
"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. 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," he explained.