Winning mentality from Liverpool first-team will help youngsters vs Aston Villa in Carabao Cup quarter-final, says U23 boss Neil Critchley

The Reds will field a hugely inexperienced team to take on Villa with Jurgen Klopp’s men in Qatar for the Fifa Club World Cup.

Rhian Brewster, 19, will be one of the most experienced players on the pitch at Villa Park, despite playing just two first-team games before, if he recovers in time from an ankle knock.

Liverpool have won 16 of their 17 Premier League games this season, and lead second-placed Leicester by 10 points.

And Critchley wants his young guns to use some of the first-team’s winning mentality.

He said: “We’re very fortunate here that our manager (Klopp) believes in young players and gives them an opportunity.

“You look at the last game against Arsenal (a 5-5 draw which Liverpool won on penalties) and he was very brave in selecting young players, so you are never quite sure (what to expect) until they are given that opportunity.


Check out all the live commentaries coming up across our network this week…

  • Aston Villa vs Liverpool (Tuesday, 7:45pm)  – talkSPORT
  • Liverpool vs Monterrey (Wednesday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Everton vs Leicester (Wednesday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Manchester United vs Colchester (Wednesday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT
  • Middlesbrough vs Stoke (Friday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Everton vs Arsenal (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Aston Villa vs Southampton (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Cardiff vs Preston (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
  • Manchester City vs Leicester (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
  • Sheffield Wednesday vs Bristol City (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2

“But what I would say is that the mentality that is bred into the first-team players here, seeps into the academy as well, and you can’t help but get influenced by what goes on above you.

“I like to think that our young players, as they showed against Arsenal in the last round, have a similar mentality, or are developing that mentality our first-team players produce on a weekly basis.

“We’ve got to go and give everything we’ve got, be there for each other, from the first whistle. I hope they go and prove to everyone watching tomorrow night what they are capable of.”

Aston Villa are huge favourites to progress to the last-four of the competition.

But Klopp insists Liverpool’s young side have a chance of upsetting the odds.