Liverpool U18s produced another late goal to defeat Manchester United 4-3 in dramatic fashion at the Academy on Saturday morning.
The young Reds twice took the lead in the first half – through Matteo Ritaccio and Fidel O’Rourke – but United quickly equalised on each occasion.
Niall Brookwell thought he had provided a winner when he struck with 10 minutes to go but yet again the visitors found a rapid leveller, this time from Charlie Wellens.
Barry Lewtas’ side refused to give in, though, and Layton Stewart claimed the crucial touch when a left-wing corner ended up in the net with 88 on the clock.
Such incident seemed unlikely during a cagey opening 20 minutes in Kirkby with little in the way of genuine chances, a low curler wide of the right post from Dillon Hoogewerf marking a rare threat.
But the quiet nature of the beginning of the game soon gave way to a frantic period of football featuring four goals before the half-time interval.
Ritaccio kicked off the scoring spree by rounding off a fine Liverpool team move on 26 minutes.
Jake Cain’s cute forward pass in the centre of the pitch freed Brookwell to slip Ritaccio through inside the area – and the American calmly touched the ball past the goalkeeper and clipped home.
But the lead was short-lived. Ben Winterbottom was unable to collect a deep United free-kick from the right channel and Ayodeji Sotona, who had only just come on as a substitute, was on hand to take advantage from close range.
The young Reds reacted well and got back in front eight minutes before the break.
They did so via another excellent combination attack, Cain the provider with a through pass for O’Rourke to tuck a first-time finish around the goalkeeper.
United, however, responded within three minutes once again.
The visitors benefited from a slice of fortune as Mark Helm’s strike from the left corner of the box took a strange deflection and went into the bottom right corner off Wellens.
Liverpool still could have taken a lead into the interval, Brookwell guiding a lofted hit just over and Leighton Clarkson seeing a free shot blocked at the last, meaning the pause came with the sides locked at 2-2.
The tempo eased when the action resumed but it was United exerting more consistent pressure in the rivals’ respective search for a third goal.
Sotona’s pace provided an obvious outlet for the away team and the No.14 caused concern with a surging run from deep all the way to the penalty area, until Billy Koumetio shepherded him away from goal.
Tom Hill almost produced a sensational strike 20 minutes from time.
The 16-year-old met a United clearance to the edge of the box with a controlled touch on his right foot and instant dipping volley off his left – drawing a diving save from Ondrej Mastny.
The Reds did go ahead again in the 80th minute, though, from another sweeping move.
Clarkson’s angled pass from left to right picked out Hill in space and the latter’s knock into the centre of the area found Brookwell, who directed the ball low into the net for what the hosts hoped would be the winner.
Yet, within moments, Wellens crashed a rising effort off the underside of the crossbar and out. And then the United midfielder did equalise.
From Reece Devine’s inviting delivery in behind, Winterbottom rushed out to thwart Sotona but the loose ball ran for Wellens to convert into the empty net.
Liverpool were still not finished.
Clarkson’s curling corner from the left-hand side was flicked on – with Stewart laying claim to the touch – and deflected off a defender en route to the far corner for a remarkable win, which was preserved by an important stoppage-time save by Winterbottom from Charlie McCann.
Liverpool U18s: Winterbottom, Hill, Norris, Savage, Koumetio, Clarkson, Brookwell, Cain, Stewart, O’Rourke (Beck, 90), Ritaccio.
Unused substitutes: Kelly, Quansah, Corness, Balagizi.
Fabinho believes that display against Arsenal set a benchmark for the squad to fulfil for the remainder of the season.
We caught up with the Brazilian at Melwood earlier in the week to preview today's game.
The No.3 told Liverpoolfc.com: "We know that playing Burnley away is always very difficult. Last season was really tough, but we’re really confident and know that a fourth victory will be a great step for the start of the season. So we will play in the same way and go after the win.
"We knew the game against Arsenal would be very difficult, one of the big teams in England, so we got to show our quality against such a strong, quality team.
"I think we played an excellent game, we won – which was most important – and I think it serves as an example performance for the rest of the season.
"So we can look at the good things we did and put them into practice in future games as well."
Adrian knows the personal and collective value of a clean sheet in this evening's Premier League clash with Burnley.
The Liverpool goalkeeper has had an eventful start to his career with the club since sealing a free transfer move at the beginning of August.
After an unexpected debut at Anfield within days of his arrival, the Spaniard made key contributions to the Reds’ UEFA Super Cup success and then sustained a freak injury in the celebrations that followed.
With Alisson Becker sidelined by injury, Adrian continued in goal for the subsequent league wins against Southampton and Arsenal.
One thing missing, however, is a clean sheet.
And the No.13 is eager to register his first shutout at Turf Moor today, not least because it would go a long way to help Liverpool clinch another victory.
“A clean sheet for the ‘keeper and the defenders means a lot,” said Adrian.
“Obviously we want to win the three points, that’s the most important [thing]. But the second-most important thing is to keep a clean sheet. We didn’t get it at the moment.
“We are improving game by game. The last game against Arsenal we did really well, we played 70 to 75 minutes at great intensity so Arsenal didn’t have any chance to win the game.
“We go to a different kind of game at Burnley’s pitch; a different size and a different style of play of them. But we are preparing well for the game and we go there to get three points – and hopefully to get the first clean sheet.”
Captain Steven Gerrard bagged a second-half brace as Liverpool beat Burnley 4-0 at Turf Moor in April 2010, but can you remember the rest of the Reds' starting XI from that Premier League clash?
Gerrard opened the scoring shortly after the break and doubled the lead on 59 minutes with a curling 25-yard strike that flew past the reach of goalkeeper Brian Jensen and into the left-hand corner of the net.
Maxi Rodriguez and Ryan Babel completed the rout for Rafael Benitez's Reds - but who else featured in the victory? Can you fill in the Missing Men?
Fill in the blanks in the quiz below, or click the Next button at the bottom of this article to reveal the Missing Men...
A win over Burnley this evening would see Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool set a new club record for consecutive league victories.
The Reds have won their last 12 Premier League fixtures and are one away from eclipsing the record set by Sir Kenny Dalglish's side between April and October 1990.
Three points at Turf Moor would also make Klopp's men the first ever Liverpool side to win each of their opening four fixtures in back-to-back league campaigns.
For more need-to-know pre-match facts and figures, courtesy of club statistician Ged Rea, read on...
Liverpool have won each of the last five away league games for only the fourth time in the Premier League era. Should they take maximum points today, they will equal the club record of six, which they have previously done on five occasions – the last being in 2014.
Another club record the Reds could equal today would be 10 away Premier League games without defeat, matching the sequence set from August to December last year.
Roberto Firmino will become the first Brazilian to score 50 Premier League goals if he nets against the Clarets. He would become the ninth Liverpool player to reach the milestone.
Should they win or draw, the Reds will be 21 league games undefeated, equalling their best run under Klopp.
James Milner has scored in 52 Premier League games in his career and never lost (41 wins, 11 draws) – a competition record.
The last Liverpool player to hit a hat-trick against Burnley was Yossi Benayoun, who did so in a 4-0 Anfield win back in September 2009.
Burnley's Dwight McNeil has recorded six assists in the Premier League in 2019. The only English player with more is Trent Alexander-Arnold (11).
Referee Chris Kavanagh has taken charge of the Reds three times in his career. They have won them all, the last of which was the Merseyside derby back in December.
Liverpool U18s host Manchester United at the Academy on Saturday - watch the game live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO from 10.30am BST.
Kick-off is scheduled for 11am, but our coverage begins half an hour earlier when Peter McDowall will be joined by former Reds Chris Kirkland and Stephen Warnock.
All the key match details you need to know ahead of Liverpool's Premier League trip to Burnley.
Liverpool travel to Turf Moor seeking to maintain their 100 per cent winning start to the top-flight season, while Burnley have collected four points from their three fixtures so far.
The game is scheduled to kick off at 5.30pm BST.
How to follow
The match will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK. You can also listen to live commentary of the full 90 minutes here on Liverpoolfc.com, with Steve Hunter joined by Stephen Warnock to call the action as it happens.
Get post-match reaction on LFCTV GO after the full-time whistle, with short match highlights available from 9.30pm BST.
Extended highlights will be published at midnight. Join LFCTV GO now and claim your first month for free.
The last meeting
Liverpool came from behind to beat Burnley 4-2 at Anfield in March, with Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane each scoring twice.
Ashley Westwood put the Clarets a goal up early on, but Firmino and Mane turned the game on its head by the half-hour mark.
Firmino then added his second of the game midway through the second half, and Mane sealed victory in stoppage-time just after Johann Berg Gudmundsson had pulled one back for the visitors.
What the managers say
"We know they’re very strong, we’ve taken wins and points off these sides before, but we’ve got to be right on top of your performance level in the Premier League. I know I say it all the time, but I think against the real super players you have to make sure that you’re at maximum performance because they are good sides."
"The way they play is pretty clear, they don't change a lot. But they do it that good that everybody struggles who goes there. I can't remember any team who won there high, it's really rare. That's what we are prepared for. It's not planning for a holiday when you go to Burnley, it's really planning the hardest work you can imagine. That's what we try to be ready for."
Liverpool have won four of their five away Premier League visits to Burnley (W4 D0 L1) and ran out 3-1 victors at Turf Moor last season.
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Assistants: Dan Cook and Sian Massey-Ellis
Fourth official: Anthony Taylor
VAR: Michael Oliver
Assistant VAR: Stephen Child
Jürgen Klopp is planning only 'really small changes' to his team for Liverpool's Premier League meeting with Burnley on Saturday.
The Reds maintained their 100 per cent start to the campaign by beating Arsenal 3-1 at Anfield last weekend and have since had a full week's training to prepare for the trip to Turf Moor.
That combination of circumstances means the manager is unlikely to make significant alterations for their next outing, explained Klopp at his pre-match press conference.
"There is no reason for resting players in the moment," he said on Friday.
"It is about finding rhythm, finding the mood again, that we do the right things in the right moment. It is not the moment for a lot of changes.
"After this international break, that will change completely of course. In the moment, the defensive set-up or whatever, as always, it is about who is in the best shape.
"We have had a full week to train and when the boys won the last game and then showed me that they are still in their best possible shape, then we will only think about a couple of really small changes."
Alisson Becker remains unavailable due to the calf injury he sustained earlier this month, while the game is likely to come too soon for Naby Keita, who the manager suggested last week would be out for 'a couple of weeks'.
Nathaniel Clyne is a long-term absentee for the Reds.
For Burnley, Johann Berg Gudmundsson is unlikely to feature due to a calf injury.
Sean Dyche made 10 changes to his starting line-up from last weekend's draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers for Wednesday's Carabao Cup second-round meeting with Sunderland, a tie the Clarets lost 3-1.
Speaking to the media on Thursday, the Burnley boss said: "First of all, the start has been positive, especially in our performances.
"Decent points, four points with the games we've had is a decent return. We were so close to having six, of course.
"For me as a manager, the performances have been very good and I've been pleased with that. The mentality to perform, the actual performances, the details within the performances have all been very good."
Last time out (Premier League)
Wolves 1-1 Burnley (August 25): Pope, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Pieters, Gudmundsson, Cork, Westwood, McNeil, Wood, Barnes.
Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal (August 24): Adrian, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Mane, Salah, Firmino.
Jürgen Klopp's knowledge of Burnley means Liverpool are preparing for the 'hardest work you can imagine' at Turf Moor on Saturday.
The Reds have won two and lost one of their away clashes with the Clarets under Klopp, with a slender aggregate advantage of 5-4 in those games.
The manager is therefore in no doubt about the challenge awaiting his team this weekend as they aim to register a fourth successive Premier League win to start the season.
Asked at his pre-match press conference if he relishes such fixtures, Klopp replied: “Yes, of course. It’s great. Turf Moor is a really tough place to go.
“We had pretty much all weather circumstances there. I think my very first game there was one of the hottest days in England I ever experienced. Then we had wind, rain, everything.
“In all the games it was difficult, it was always difficult. We once played there on January 1, I’m pretty sure, when Raggy [Klavan] scored – that’s how a year should start! Tough place and they do an incredible job, to be honest.
“Probably everybody will write that it didn’t look like Sean Dyche and I were best friends after the last game; it was an intense game, Joe Gomez got injured, we had a couple of discussions. But both coaching staff, myself and Joe are just proper competitors, so we don’t hide our emotions obviously. That can happen.
“But from my point of view, it was always completely respectful because I respect them and I respect Sean a lot, what he is doing there, to keep a team like Burnley really always on that level of motivation, determination and desire and all that stuff. It’s so difficult and they are doing that.”
He added: “The way they play is pretty clear, they don’t change it a lot but they do it that good that everybody who goes there struggles. I can’t remember any team who won there high, it’s really rare.
“It’s not planning a holiday when you go to Burnley, it’s really planning the hardest work you can imagine and that’s what we try to be ready for.”
Liverpool’s 3-1 victory over Arsenal last time out equalled the club record of 12 consecutive league wins, previously set under Sir Kenny Dalglish in 1990.
But when the subject was raised during his Burnley preview, Klopp insisted those at Melwood are not concerned with statistics, only what is required to defeat the next opponent.
“We don’t think about it,” said the boss. “If nobody would have told me, I don’t think I would have known we had won 12 games in a row. I have no clue when we lost the last one, I have no clue who we played 12 games ago, we don’t think like that. We are completely in the next game.
“What you [the media] all do is [expect] we all will play the season of last season, and especially Man City will – we should expect that probably. But we cannot judge our season, our situation, in comparison to the situation of Man City… ‘If we drop a point there, then it’s done.’ Then we have real pressure.
“It’s still a football game and there are three possible scenarios. My favourite one is to win it; you can get a point; and unfortunately you can lose the game as well. We have to at least expect all three of them could happen but we have influence with our performance.
“So we think about the performance, what we have to do and how we have to face the opponent. We make an analysis of the other team but you always see them playing against other teams and not against us, so what do we do special that they cannot be 100 per cent prepared for what we are doing? That’s what our week is.
“We don’t count the points we collected in the last 12 games or think about the points we could get in the next 20 games. It’s really about this one opponent.
“This is the only time we always have; if you have three days or five or six, training-wise it’s a big difference but focus-wise it’s no difference because three days to focus on the next opponent is enough. I would expect if somebody told us, ‘You play them tomorrow’ we’d have enough time to focus. Analysis-wise it would be difficult but the focus I would expect at the highest level. That’s exactly what we do now.
“Since Monday we thought only about Burnley. Yesterday, when people told us who we would play in the Champions League, for a few moments it was the thing we were talking about. Then close that book again and it’s all about Burnley.
“For us, it’s the only way to do it. That’s how you keep things going: by constantly being focused and concentrated on the next step. Otherwise you will struggle.”
Jürgen Klopp praised Xherdan Shaqiri's application in training and stressed how Liverpool will require the Swiss international's talents throughout the season.
Shaqiri has only featured once for the Reds so far this term when he came on during the second half of the FA Community Shield with Manchester City at Wembley.
The 27-year-old has been an unused substitute in the opening three Premier League matches of the campaign since, although Klopp insists minutes are on their way.
Speaking at a press conference to preview Saturday's trip to Burnley, the boss said: "Shaq is training well, that's the situation.
"It's the first four weeks of the season, that's how it is. That's probably the hardest period for players who are not [playing].
"In training, Shaq doesn’t have to improve in any way if he can keep the level he is doing at the moment.
"Of course he can improve like how everybody can improve, but it's not about that – he doesn't have to show anything special.
"We will need him, he knows that 100 per cent."
Having showcased his ability and first-class attitude on a daily basis at Melwood, Klopp believes Shaqiri is primed for the opportunities that await him.
He continued: "Is he the happiest player in the squad? I don't think so. Can I see that on the training pitch? No.
"He is in a good mood, training hard, doing what he has to do and is ready for the moment when he has to help the team on the pitch."
Jürgen Klopp has detailed why Liverpool will need to draw upon 'all players' within the squad when their schedule resumes following the forthcoming international break.
The boss has made minimal changes to his starting line-up in the opening weeks of 2019-20 – a decision he puts down to the Reds’ winning run, fixture schedule and a desire for his team to ‘find rhythm’ in the early stages of the fledgling campaign.
However, with the onset of the Champions League and Carabao Cup to come in September, Klopp is planning to call upon all of his players as Liverpool begin fighting on three fronts.
The manager told his pre-Burnley press conference on Friday: “We need them all, we need them all 100 per cent. It is the very first part of the season, the first four Premier League games, and we had a busier schedule than other teams but still not that busy during the week.
"That will all come afterwards, but there is no reason for resting players in the moment. It is about finding rhythm, finding the mood again, that we do the right things in the right moment. It is not the moment for a lot of changes.
“After this international break, that will change completely of course. In the moment, the defensive set-up or whatever, as always, it is about who is in the best shape. We have had a full week to train and when the boys won the last game and then showed me that they are still in their best possible shape, then we will only think about a couple of really small changes.
“They are all around and that’s good. No decision is made forever in football; we always make decisions for one match and then the next is waiting.
“Usually in this time [international break] they will go all around the world, but after that we need them all and they know that. That’s why the mood in the dressing room is pretty good.”
Jürgen Klopp has confirmed Alisson Becker has ‘made steps’ towards a return to full fitness, but still requires further time until he’s available again.
The goalkeeper sustained a calf injury during the first half of Liverpool’s Premier League opener against Norwich City at Anfield on August 9, with Adrian deputising between the posts in his absence.
Asked for an update on Alisson during his pre-Burnley press conference at Melwood on Friday afternoon, Klopp said: “He [has] made steps, of course, but it was a proper injury, so it will still take time.
“How it always is with professional sportsmen, when you have a muscle thing and it takes long, then it takes a while as well until you can bring the muscle to at least the same level it was before.
“A calf muscle is pretty important for jumping – and for a goalie, it is quite important that you can jump from time to time, so it will take time.
“But, thank god – and hopefully it stays like this - we have a fit Adrian in the back and now in charge, which is good. So far, I am really happy with everything I saw.
“He is a good guy, which is important as well, but most importantly of course he can catch balls and that’s good as well.
“The solution we found for it is really good, but of course it would be better if Ali was around but that will take still some time.”
[unable to retrieve full-text content]Watch Jürgen Klopp's preview of Liverpool's meeting with Burnley on demand now.
Curtis Jones has received a call-up to the England U19 squad for two upcoming friendlies.
Jones will be part of the Young Lions side that take on Greece at St George's Park on September 5 before travelling to Steinbach four days later to face Germany.
Liverpool Academy defender Rhys Williams, who is currently out on loan with Kidderminster Harriers, has also been selected by boss Paul Simpson.
Barry Lewtas expects Liverpool U19s to gain more invaluable experience as they compete in the UEFA Youth League again this season.
With the competition’s group stage replicating that of the Champions League, the young Reds will face Napoli, Salzburg and Genk.
The section winners will progress automatically to the round of 16, with the runners-up going into the play-offs for the right to reach the knockout phase.
Liverpool put five past Napoli at home last term, following a controversial 1-1 draw in Naples after the home side equalised in stoppage-time while multiple balls were on the pitch.
Lewtas’ charges begin their 2019-20 Youth League campaign with a trip to face the Italian outfit on Tuesday September 17.
“We would be excited at whoever we drew in the competition and it’s a really good opportunity again for the boys to play in a European competition, the travel and get all the experience that comes with playing in this competition,” he told Liverpoolfc.com.
“We had two interesting games against Napoli last season. We definitely put the Napoli away saga behind us when we won 5-0 at home.
“Again it will be a tough game and that will bring another challenge and experience for the boys.
“We take every game as it comes but what went on at Napoli last season was a really good experience. Every game is different and we won’t go back there with a hangover from what happened last season and we will go there with a clean slate.
“Salzburg have really good pedigree in this competition having won it in 2017 and that will be a really exciting game for us to look forward to.
“We have travelled over to Belgium in the last couple of months for a couple of friendlies against Club Brugge and Anderlecht and we are looking forward to playing against another good side in Genk.
“We know the quality of Belgian teams at youth level as well so we are expecting another tough challenge.”
For their away fixtures in Europe, the Academy youngsters travel alongside Jürgen Klopp’s senior squad.
And Lewtas considers the learning experience on and off the pitch for these games to be hugely beneficial to his players.
“In terms of the coaching staff it’s an opportunity for us to play against different styles and different tactics,” he added.
“Most importantly it’s a really good experience for the boys, the travel, the build-up to the game, the actual game itself and then getting the chance to go and support the first team later that evening.
“I also think the elements of playing a midweek game and then an U18s league fixture on the Saturday is also an experience for the players, especially after an away fixture with the fatigue from the travel and the mental stuff behind the games.
“It really pads out our schedule. It makes it difficult but it also makes it a lot more realistic to what they are going to hopefully move towards.”
Divock Origi believes a trip to Burnley represents one of the most difficult fixtures in the Premier League calendar, but insists Liverpool are ‘super motivated’ to try and sign off for the international break with another victory.
The Reds travel to Turf Moor on Saturday evening aiming to maintain their 100 per cent start to the new top-flight campaign having obtained maximum points from their opening three fixtures.
Origi senses a spring in the step of the European champions in training; however, the striker is well aware of the threat and difficulties the Clarets can pose, especially on home soil.
He told LFC Later: “We are all super motivated. In training we are having a lot of fun, the weather is good and the pitch is nice.
“We’re building on something, so we feel like we are getting closer and closer together. You can see on the pitch everyone is very aggressive in a good sense and we just want to win against Burnley. That would be a good first part of the season as it’s one of the toughest games, Burnley.
“I played there last year and it was tough, so we know how it’s going to be but we are ready.
“We are talented, we have a good mentality and we just have to give it everything and hopefully we will be OK.”
Origi has figured in four of Liverpool’s five games so far this season, scoring once in the victory over Norwich City on the Premier League’s opening day.
Two of those appearances have been starts, but the 24-year-old acknowledges in Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane he faces some of the fiercest competition in world football for a position in Jürgen Klopp’s XI.
“Patience used to be one of the things I had to work on when I was younger,” Origi explained. “I used to work very hard for stuff I wanted and sometimes when it didn’t come I became impatient.
“When you become more mature and become a man, you know sometimes in life you need to be more patient. That is what I tried to use, just being grateful. For me I enjoy it very much and I have worked hard to be here and I enjoy playing for Liverpool and playing for this team.
“I think we are doing very special things and I enjoy training every day. So I just try to see the positive in everything and, in the end, me at my best is going to push the front three and it’s going to push everyone. Hopefully for me as well, the more minutes you get the better.
“I trust the coach. He will put out the best team so you just focus on what you can do.”
Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster has earned a call-up to the England U21 squad.
The 19-year-old will join up with the group for a pair of European U21 Championship qualifiers next month.
England face Turkey away from home on Friday September 6 and then host Kosovo at Hull’s KCOM Stadium three days later.
Liverpool’s Carabao Cup tie at Milton Keynes Dons will be played on Wednesday September 25, kick-off 7.45pm BST.
The Reds were paired with the League One side in Wednesday’s third-round draw and will make the trip to Stadium MK next month.
Sky Sports will show the game live.
Click here to view an updated 2019-20 fixture list.
Liverpool's Premier League fixture at Manchester United has been rescheduled for Sunday October 20.
The Reds’ trip to Old Trafford is now set for a 4.30pm BST kick-off.
Click here to view an updated 2019-20 fixture list.
Barry Lewtas has hailed the fighting spirit and togetherness of his Liverpool U18s team after more late drama enabled the young Reds to earn a share of the spoils away at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Remi Savage headed in a stoppage-time leveller last Saturday, which followed Layton Stewart's late winner in the 3-2 victory over Stoke City the previous week.
Lewtas' team netted decisive last-gasp strikes on eight occasions last season, too, and the U18s boss is delighted to see the trend continue so far this term.
Manchester United are next up for Lewtas' charges as they visit the Kirkby Academy on Saturday morning, a game you can watch live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO with kick-off set for 11am BST.
Read the boss' thoughts ahead of the match below...
On last Saturday's dramatic equaliser to gain a draw at Wolves…
I thought we deserved at least a draw. In fairness, it was a bit of a chess match in the first half. Wolves have a strong way of playing in terms of shape and formation and it took us a bit of time to work it out. I thought we pressed well and we created chances. We went in at half-time 1-0 down through a penalty and we tinkered with a few things to get in behind them more. The amount of times we got into their penalty area saw us create numerous chances and in the end the draw was the minimum we deserved so I'm pleased the boys kept going and showed what spirit they have got. We have scored a lot of late goals but that probably sums us up because we never give up.
On the quality of Leighton Clarkson's deliveries…
It was first-class. Leighton put some quality balls into their penalty area which created quite a wave of pressure. That helped us camp in their half a little bit and our set-piece deliveries were really good.
On Savage stepping up to the plate at the back in the absence of the injured Billy Koumetio…
Remi did well for us. Those two were starting to build a partnership before Billy was unfortunate to get an injury, so there was a lot of responsibility put on Remi. He weighed in with a goal as well so I was really pleased for him and I thought he deserved it.
On Saturday's home meeting with Manchester United…
It's a big fixture and we can't wait for the game. We had three tough games against them last season for different reasons. Along with a couple of the other teams, these are the ones we search for first when we get the fixture list. We are really excited for it.
On the importance of keeping discipline and trying to keep 11 players on the pitch…
I think the last six games we have played at U18 level against United we have been down to 10 men! I remember Abdi [Sharif] got sent off in the first game for a high foot which I understood but I thought it was a bit of a soft one. Morgan Boyes was sent off in the cup game but the biggest issue there was they stole a further 10 yards for the free-kick which they scored from! We just need to make sure we keep our house in order and we do things properly but I don't think we were overzealous last season and I don't think there was anything beyond the realms of what a Liverpool v Manchester United game is. A couple of them were maybe avoidable but it is certainly a message we will pass on to the lads before the game. We have had some good referees this season so far so I'm sure we will get one who understands the occasion and knows that players want to compete and play for the win.
On his message to the players ahead of Saturday's game…
Go out and enjoy it and express yourselves, which has been our message since I first got this job. We want to be difficult to beat and that involves playing on the front foot and the way we want to press. Certainly this team is evolving into a team that is getting better in transitional moments of the game. We'll certainly be looking to play to our strengths and hopefully create lots of chances and convert them on Saturday.