Football

Klopp: Blame me, not the boys

Klopp takes responsibility for failed experiment with youngest Reds side

Juergen Klopp took full responsibility for his inexperienced Liverpool side's goalless FA Cup draw with League Two high-fliers Plymouth and he is unlikely to repeat the experiment this week.

The Reds face Southampton in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final on Thursday morning (Singapore time) and, despite January becoming an even busier month now they have to fit in a replay against Plymouth on Jan 18, Klopp will resist the temptation to rest players in midweek ahead of Sunday's trip to Old Trafford.

"I don't think the line-up was a mistake, but you can see it like this if you want," Klopp said after naming the youngest team - with an average age of 21 years and 296 days - in the club's history.

"We made mistakes in the game and, always with the boys, the good things they are responsible for and the bad things I am responsible for.

RESPONSIBLE

"If you want to see it (the result) in a bad way, then I am 100 per cent responsible, I have no problem with that.

"I always choose line-ups to win the game and I accept that it was not to see in all situations but, in a lot of them, it was.

"There is a long season still to go and we need to change.

"If you make that many changes, it doesn't make it easier for the boys - I know this - but they need this experience and now they have it so we can go on.

"We didn't think for a second about the age, they are important players in our squad and that's why we used them."

Klopp acknowledged the tie wasn't the most exciting game and sardonically lamented the prospect of a 965km round trip to Plymouth for the replay.

"It was boring," said Klopp. "I really am happy that the Liverpool crowd didn't leave after 60 minutes because it wasn't the most exciting game.

"They did everything they had to do to deserve a rematch and now we have it. Yippee!

"The biggest challenge in football is to play a defending side. Maybe Plymouth in this moment are happy, for sure they are.

"They deserved the rematch. I don't know if at home, they can play the same defensive style."

FEAT

Plymouth boss Derek Adams was delighted with their performance as Argyle became only the fifth side in the last year to keep a clean sheet at Anfield.

"It is probably one of the best defensive performances Anfield has seen," he said.

"We limited Liverpool to not many (opportunities). We dealt with them well and the players have worked extremely hard.

"It would be naive as a manager to come to Anfield and think you can go at top-class players.

"We are a League Two club, they are a Premier League club with players at international level. We allowed them time, but didn't allow them space."

Asked what Liverpool could expect in the replay at Home Park he said: "Welcome to the real world." - WIRE SERVICES

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