Brendan Rodgers was full of praise for Liverpool’s young players, after a dramatic penalty shootout victory over Middlesborough in the Capital One Cup third round at Anfield.
Twice the Reds led through goals from Jordan Rossiter and Suso, only to be pegged back twice and forced into a shootout in front of the Kop.
And Rodgers admits whilst it was yet another shaky performance, the young players showed great character to force the Reds over the line and through to the next round.
“Tonight was a good night for our young players,” Rodgers told reporters during his post-match press conference. “Young Jordan Rossiter could walk to Anfield; he just lives round the corner. I was delighted for him. He got the opportunity and showed wonderful composure to get his finish.
“I was also impressed with young Jordan Williams, he came on and showed really good stature and composure in the game. He is a wonderful footballer and a young player that is developing well.
“I think all the young kids from our U8s and U9s at the Academy now – and all the Academy coaches – will look at that tonight.
“They know anyway, through my work, that I will always look to them because my job is to grow the top-class young talents, not just to buy them in. We want to try and grow them here, or else there’s no point in having a youth Academy.
“So for Rossiter to come in and play and score was fantastic for him. The other young kids who weren’t involved are getting good experience. Tonight is a great night in their step towards playing for the first team regularly, hopefully.”
“A mention for young Suso,” added Rodgers. “He hasn’t had a lot of game time but he has kept working every day and I thought when he came on he was really bright for us and took his goal really well.”