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Jurgen Klopp explains why Man United was “not the right moment” to use “the kids”

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With Jayden Danns‘ name trending after Liverpool’s 4-3 defeat to Man United in the FA Cup, Jurgen Klopp has argued it was “not the right moment” for youth.

The Reds played out more than two hours of football at Old Trafford on Sunday and came away with nothing to show for it, conceding a last-minute winner from Amad Diallo.

It came after Klopp made just three changes from the 6-1 win over Sparta Prague three days previous, with there a suggestion of fatigue despite Liverpool’s dominance for much of the second half.

Cody Gakpo‘s frustrating cameo has attracted criticism from many supporters, with the Dutchman’s name trending on social media along with that of fellow striker Danns.

There is an argument for Danns having been a more effective option from the bench given the circumstances, but Klopp was clearly not of that belief.

In his post-match press conference, the manager insisted: “We say we have to bring the kids in at the right moment but it was not the right moment.”

Of course, the pressure of coming on in such a high-pressure game at a stadium like Old Trafford would have been a sizeable risk.

Klopp has already shown his faith in the likes of Danns, James McConnell and Bobby Clark on big occasions, so there will almost certainly be those who disagree on this stance.

The introduction of Danns, for example, would have been a gamble, but it could have provided Liverpool with the thrust they needed to extend their lead at 2-1.

FLEETWOOD, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 19, 2023: Liverpool's Jayden Danns on the pitch before the FA Youth Cup 3rd Round match between Fleetwood Town FC Under-18's and Liverpool FC Under-18's at Highbury Stadium. Liverpool won 2-1. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

However, the manager was speaking explicitly about extra time, claiming that after the 90 minutes “it was like options were now not [there].”

“[The kids] are fantastic but it was not the right moment,” he added.

He did admit, though, that there were four players he would “definitely” have preferred to have not played into extra time as they risk burnout.

Alexis Mac Allister, Wataru Endo and Darwin Nunez were all players the manager would have brought off, and Joe Gomez earlier than he was – but there were there seemingly no options to replace them.