Liverpool’s vice-captain James Milner, who’s been consistently leading the side out in Jordan Henderson’s absence, has said he and his team-mates let down Ben Woodburn and Trent Alexander-Arnold on Saturday against Stoke.
The two teenagers started the game at the Britannia, but were dragged off at half-time with Liverpool 1-0 down and playing appallingly.
In fairness, they were doing relatively well, but we definitely needed to change things up and introducing the Brazilians was the right thing to do – as proven by the eventual 2-1 win.
“I think at this stage of the season every three points is important, especially after going 1-0 down,” Milner told the Echo.
“We didn’t play well in the first half and the two boys coming on (Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino) made a big change for us.
“Nothing against the two young boys who started the game, we probably let them down as senior guys, we didn’t play well and didn’t help them out.
“We managed to get going in the second half, could have scored a few more and Simon (Mignolet) made two unbelievable saves at important times in the game.”
Milner has praised the two players who came on, because they’ve been ill – so much so – Coutinho has lost a heck of a lot of weight (and there wasn’t much to lose anyway!).
“The treatment table is a busy place at the moment unfortunately. We have proved by winning (at Stoke) that the squad is there,” Milner continued.
“The Brazilian lads carrying injuries, Phil being ill the other night, we hadn’t seen him for two days and he comes on and does that. Roberto is struggling.
“It was a good job it wasn’t windy because I think Phil would have blown away – he lost a lot of weight! I am buzzing for him, it’s fantastic, it shows what a big player for us he is and his desire to come and do that after a tough 48 hours.
“We have injuries all over the place, it is that time of the year and you just have to suck it up and keep going and like I say the desire and heart from the squad is always there. We just need that consistency really.”
Now, Liverpool have a few more days to prepare for the weekend tie with West Brom, which we notoriously find pretty difficult.
We can’t imagine Klopp will be experimenting too much with his lineup again…