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Neil Critchley hails Jurgen Klopp’s influence on Liverpool youngsters

Monday, 3 February 2020

By Jake Bacon


Neil Critchley has praised Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp’s effect on the club’s youngsters.

The German has come under fire for his decision to miss the Reds’ FA Cup fourth round replay against Shrewsbury on Tuesday, which is LIVE on talkSPORT, and send his first-team players on holiday during the mid-season Premier League break.

Jurgen Klopp won’t be in attendance at Anfield when Liverpool’s youngsters host Shrewsbury.

Jurgen Klopp won’t be in attendance at Anfield when Liverpool’s youngsters host Shrewsbury.

It means Neil Critchley’s Under-23 team will be left to fend for themselves when they host the League One club.

The U23 side were beaten 5-0 by Aston Villa in December’s Carabao Cup quarter-final when the first-team were at the Club World Cup in Qatar.

Critchley believes Klopp’s absence won’t make a difference in the way his team perform.

He said: “He gives myself, the staff and players unbelievable support so I can speak to him whenever I like when I’m down here.

 “He supports the young players unbelievably well, as he has shown so far this season so his presence, even if he isn’t there, is always felt by our younger players and by myself.

“I also think maybe one per cent that came into his thinking with his decision was the way we played against Aston Villa, he maybe thought the boys deserved another opportunity.”

Shrewsbury earned a shock trip to Anfield when they came back from two goals down to salvage a 2-2 draw thanks to Jason Cummings’ second-half brace.

Last week, former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy insisted Klopp should be in attendance for the replay.

While agreeing with Klopp’s decision to rest his first-team stars, Murphy is adamant his presence at Anfield would help the youngsters.

He told talkSPORT: “I think he should be there. He should be at the game. I don’t think there’s any reason for him not to be there.

“Wherever he’s flying to, whatever holiday he’s got with or without the players, whether they’re going away together or he’s given the players time off, he is the manager.

“He’s not running round the pitch every three days, he’s just walking about the training pitch and in the dugout.

“As the manager, the impact of being there for those younger lads who play on the day is massive. I’m telling you it would make a difference to their performance.”

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