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“Fight for the rest” – Harvey Elliott explains silver lining for Liverpool after FA Cup exit


Liverpool midfielder Harvey Elliott believes their challenge for the Premier League and in Europe will benefit from a disappointing FA Cup exit to Manchester United as it will free up space in the calendar.

The 20-year-old tried to put a positive spin on their chaotic 4-3 extra-time quarter-final defeat at Old Trafford by suggesting it will allow them extra days for recovery.

Manager Jurgen Klopp admitted in the aftermath of defeat it was the first time he had seen his players struggle physically as they played their 46th game of a season which has at least another 12 fixtures and potentially more if they get past Atalanta in the Europa League‘s last eight.

The cup exit equates to, at most, only two fewer games but it does mean their league match at Fulham scheduled for April 20 will not be shunted into midweek, especially as the club still have a Merseyside derby at Goodison Park to fit in.

“Now we can focus on other things, it frees up a few weeks for us,” said Elliott, who came off the bench to put Liverpool 3-2 up in extra time.

“Not as many games any more so the lads can be fresh and we can recover properly and focus on the rest of the season.”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 17, 2024: Liverpool's goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher looks dejected as Manchester United score the winning fourth goal, in extra-time, during the FA Cup Quarter-Final match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. Man Utd won 4-3 after extra-time. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The defeat was only Liverpool’s third in domestic competition this season, and of the two they lost in Europe one was a dead rubber against Union Saint-Gilloise.

However, while it was a blow, especially losing to their arch-rivals, Elliott insists the players will not allow it to put a dent in their ambitions for the rest of the season.

“Our confidence is always there, it isn’t going to affect us at all,” he added.

“Yeah, we’re going to be annoyed that we didn’t win but we’re going away with internationals now, so we can forget about it and come back after the break fresh again ready to crack down and fight for the rest of the season.

“Confidence-wise it’s not going to do anything to us because we had the game in our hands, had many chances but just didn’t put them away.

“It’s always going to be there and we just need to keep going as a team.”

Klopp has seen enough of his squad, especially some of their comebacks this season to snatch late victories, to be confident they will not allow the setback to derail them when they return at home to Brighton on March 31.

“We’ve played football for ages and you lose games – if that always leads to a mental state or situation where you need help…it’s just a normal thing,” he said.

“We all fail on a daily basis, maybe without even recognising it – we just get along with it.

“I got the question already [about] what kind of reaction I expect now. Nothing, they go to their countries and I hope they come back and have nothing [injury-wise] and then we think about Brighton when they come back.

“In general the team is in an outstanding situation in the moment. That we got through all of these different, difficult situations is absolutely exceptional.”