The Reds’ interim gaffer spoke after his side put up a solid performance in their Carabao Cup loss.
In one of the most anticipated games of the latest round of the Carabao EFL Cup, Aston Villa swept past a youthful Liverpool side. However, Villa players and staff displayed class and great conduct against the young lads, much to the delight of Reds’ interim boss Neil Critchley.
“I’ve got to say that the 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,” Critchley said.
In contrast to the 5-0 scoreline, Liverpool’s performance on the night was quite exemplary. The new-look side twice came close to scoring beautifully worked goals but Villa custodian Ørjan Nyland was at his best. The Norwegian did great to deny the in-form Harvey Elliott and Luis Longstaff in the first half from close range.
“I think we were magnificent, from the first whistle. Our start to the game was fantastic,” quoted Neil Critchley.
On the other hand, Villa’s Jonathan Kodjia had a superb night and was inches close to scoring a hat-trick. His brace, along with Conor Hourihane and Morgan Boyes’ own goal meant the hosts led by a massive 4-0 in the first 45 minutes.
Wesley Moraes, then went on to add the fifth in the dying minutes of the game, to sum up a fantastic victory.
However, after the game, Dean Smith and assistant head coach John Terry walked into Liverpool’s dressing room to appreciate the lads’ performance.
“They just said how difficult they made it for them and that we’d got some really good player, to keep going and good luck,” added Neil Critchley, according to Birmingham Mail.
“They wished us all the best for the future, and it will be a moment I remember and the players remember for the rest of their lives, I think.”
All in all, it was a splendid experience for the young Liverpool side who showed a glimpse of their talent and a great character. “There are still steps to make but I think some of them showed that in the future there is the potential for some of them to one day maybe play for us or play in the Premier League, or at least have a career in football,” said their boss.
“It was probably more of an up than a down tonight. It was enjoyably tough and my overriding feeling was one of immense pride,” Neil Critchley concluded.