Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool’s youngsters should be ‘excited as hell’ ahead of their Carabao Cup quarter-final meeting with Aston Villa tonight.
Liverpool travel to the Midlands face Aston Villa in the last eight of the competition as rank underdogs, having opted to take a youth squad for the tie due to their commitments at the Club World Cup in Qatar this week.
Klopp is currently in the Middle East with his senior side preparing for their semi-final fixture in the inter-continental competition with Monterrey tomorrow, with the club’s under-23 manager Neil Critchley set to take charge for the clash at Villa Park this evening.
The Liverpool boss accepts his side face a difficult task, but has urged the youthful side to embrace the occasion as they bid to seal the club’s place in the last four.
“I know how a lot of people in the public see it,” Klopp told Liverpool’s official website.
“But if all the football games would be decided before we start, only because of the perception of the people, then most of the games wouldn’t be played. I believe, I’m a big believer in everybody has a chance.
“From the boys’ point of view, if I would be in their boots I would be excited like hell, looking forward to it like hell, run for my life, all that stuff.”
Klopp says both he and his side will be watching the contest from their base in Qatar, and has refused to rule out the possibility of the club’s development side springing an unlikely cup upset.
“All our thoughts are with them, the more experienced players are looking forward to it, to watch the game and shout them forward from here,” added Klopp.
“Whatever we can do we will do, but Critch and his staff and the boys, I’m sure they’re really looking forward to it and will enjoy it.
“You can only enjoy football if you work hard and go for the result – whichever result it will be. Aston Villa is the big favourite, that’s clear, but who cares? It’s football and the ball rolls in each direction, that’s pretty cool.”