MX23RW : Friday, June 5 10:43:15| >> :120:5241:5241:
Feb 4, 2020 at 7.45pm UK at Anfield
Attendance: 52,399
Liverpool
1-0
ShrewsburyShrewsbury Town
Williams (75' og.)
FT(HT: 0-0)

Neil Critchley reveals James Milner role in Liverpool FA Cup win

Neil Critchley reveals James Milner role in Liverpool FA Cup win
© Reuters
The Reds play Chelsea in the FA Cup fifth round.

Jurgen Klopp sent messages of support and congratulations before and after the youngest side in Liverpool's history beat Shrewsbury 1-0 in their FA Cup fourth-round replay.

The manager and his squad were, somewhat controversially, absent on their scheduled mid-season break but the German still maintained contact with the coaching staff and the players and had an able deputy in James Milner offering his experience and expertise at close quarters.

While his team-mates are currently on holiday, Liverpool's veteran midfielder has remained at home for a few extra days to continue his rehabilitation from a hamstring injury before he takes a break but wanted to offer his support in a more substantial way.

"He trained with us yesterday and he asked whether he could come along. I think the answer is 'Yes, of course you can.' It was very respectful to ask," said under-23s coach Neil Critchley, who led the team at Anfield in Klopp's absence.

"He then said 'Can I come in the dressing room?'. What do you think? 'Of course'.

"He was giving words of advice, he was getting right behind the players. He was vocal in the dressing room. He was animated. He was vocal behind me, I could hear him.

"He was genuinely delighted at how the boys performed and I can't thank him enough."

Klopp, as he did back in December when he was away with the first team at the Club World Cup in Qatar, watched the game from afar and offered his backing via phone.

James Milner, left, watched on at Anfield
James Milner, left, watched on at Anfield (Martin Rickett/PA)

"The boss was in touch this afternoon with some words of advice and encouragement," added Critchley after former Manchester United academy graduate Ro-Shaun Williams' own goal settled the tie midway through the second half.

"We had a message from the staff that he is delighted with the performance and is buzzing. We have given him a game against Chelsea to look forward to.

"He just gives you total clarity, belief, play the Liverpool way, go for it. And that is what the first team do. This is us, this is how we play, this is what we stand for and you had better be ready for it."

Liverpool's starting line-up had an average age of 19 years and 102 days, contained three debutants and had 36 senior appearances between them yet they dominated a game and fully deserved their victory and a lap of honour in front of a sell-out 53,000 crowd.

"We played the game with real maturity. I was really impressed with how we stood up to the physical side of the game, first balls, second balls, much better than the Aston Villa game," added Critchley.

"Over 90 minutes we had the better chances and were just about the deserved winners."

Shrewsbury manager Sam Ricketts admitted his side never got out of the blocks.

"I cannot fault the players, they worked so hard to get here but that is game 39 for us and I think it just caught up with us," he said. "We just couldn't get up to the physicality levels to play a game of football.

"The players are down at the minute because we knew if we got anywhere near our levels we could impose ourselves. But we were far too passive in the game generally."

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Shrewsbury Town manager Sam Ricketts pictured on January 14, 2020
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool29271166214582
2Manchester CityMan City28183768313757
3Leicester CityLeicester29165858283053
4Chelsea29146951391248
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd29129844301445
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves29101364134743
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd28111073025543
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs29118104740741
9Arsenal2891364036440
10Burnley29116123440-639
11Crystal Palace29109102632-639
12Everton29107123746-937
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2998122541-1635
14Southampton29104153552-1734
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton29611123240-829
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham2976163550-1527
17Watford2969142744-1727
18Bournemouth2976162947-1827
19Aston Villa2874173456-2225
20Norwich CityNorwich2956182552-2721

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