How do you handle a talent like Woodburn?
After last nights League Cup Quartet Final win where Ben Woodburn became Liverpool’s youngest goalscorer at just 17yrs and 42days! How do you handle that? Jurgen Klopp has revealed what he told Ben Woodburn after the game.
Rather than heaping praise on the teenager for breaking his duck so early, Klopp told the press that he skimped on the praise somewhat – but assured the journalists that he and his staff know how to deal with a promising youngster.
“I said well done,” he revealed, “but it was not too difficult. I would have scored if I was in that situation! Nothing what we say here is important enough to help Ben Woodburn or myself. It’s all good.We know how to handle the situation.”
“I can say whatever I want but if he scores goals it’s difficult to stay cool from your side, no problem. But tonight it was very important that we could have him on the bench and bring him in the game because of our situation in the offensive department. So it’s very important for us today and he scored a goal, that makes it much more enjoyable.”
Klopps praises Woodburn
Liverpool academy stars Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ovie Ejaria also put in good performances. against the Championship playoff hopefuls, with Klopp adding: “All the young boys did very well, in a very important game. It’s a quarter-final.”
“I’ve said a lot of times we don’t make line-ups because we don’t respect the tournament. We make changes to win the game. We needed fresh legs today. It was a mixture of youth and experience and it worked well.”
Klopp did note that the first half wasn’t too good – were a lot of passes went astray and it didn’t seem like the Liverpool we have grown accustomed to this year. “It was not too beautiful to watch in the first half. But eight changes, it’s not easy. We could have been better. We could have been more creative. We could have showed more greed in final third in the first half.”
“But it was difficult for Leeds to defend 90 minutes against our passing game. Second we did better. We tried to change a bit at half-time, but it was a really tough game. Leeds are really strong, but they couldn’t show us tonight. That is the biggest compliment for my team.”
So, how do you handle a talent like Woodburn? Easy, tell them you would have scored in that situation too! Perfect man-management. Keep him grounded and not allow the media to get too excited.