Stay calm on Woodburn

> Klopp ad­mits it will be dif­fi­cult to man­age the hype around the 17-year-old goal scorer

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS - BY SI­MON HUGHES

JUR­GEN KLOPP has ad­mit­ted that it will be dif­fi­cult calm­ing expectations of Ben Woodburn af­ter the 17-year-old be­came the youngest goalscorer in Liver­pool’s his­tory.

Woodburn, who was in­tro­duced as a sub­sti­tute for Kevin Ste­wart in Liver­pool’s League Cup quar­ter­fi­nal with Leeds United at An­field, took 14 min­utes to con­firm his team’s place in the semis and in turn, write his name into the record books.

Woodburn breaks Michael Owen’s record hav­ing made his com­pet­i­tive de­but for Liver­pool on Satur­day against Sun­der­land.

He is yet to start a game, though, and Klopp be­lieves he will need to drip feed the teenager with drops of ex­pe­ri­ence in or­der to re­duce the hype around him while main­tain­ing that he is unafraid of us­ing him if the mo­ment calls for it.

Klopp, who be­fore the game ex­pressed that Woodburn was close to se­lec­tion be­cause he was “men­tally” ready to play first team games for Liver­pool, thinks the striker has the tem­per­a­ment to deal with what might fol­low.

“We know what Ben is ca­pa­ble of,” Klopp said. “My first job is to help th­ese boys be the best. There is a lot of things to do, es­pe­cially to keep the pub­lic away and that is a dif­fi­cult to do. But we needed him and we have to al­low him to score goals. I’ll al­ways pre­fer that!”

Klopp re­vealed his con­ver­sa­tion with Woodburn in the chang­ing room af­ter the fi­nal whis­tle.

“I don’t think it makes sense that I say the ob­vi­ous things,” he con­tin­ued. “So first of all, I said ‘Well done, but it was not too dif­fi­cult! I would have scored too if I would have been in the sit­u­a­tion!’

“Noth­ing we say here is im­por­tant enough that it would help Ben Woodburn or my­self. It’s all good. We know how to han­dle the sit­u­a­tion and I know I can say to you what­ever I want, [but] if he scores goals then it’s quite dif­fi­cult to stay cool from your side. No prob­lem.

“Tonight it was very im­por­tant that we Liver­pool man­ager Jur­gen Klopp Klop­pleft) (left) hugs goal scorer Ben Woodburn af­ter their win over Leeds United in the EFL Cup quar­ter­fi­nal quar­ter­fi­fi­nal match at An­field An­fi­field in Liver­pool yes­ter­day. could have him on the bench and could bring him into the game, be­cause of our sit­u­a­tion in the of­fen­sive depart­ment. [He was] a very im­por­tant player for us to­day and he scored a goal, which makes it more en­joy­able.”

Woodburn’s strike came af­ter Divock Origi scored the open­ing goal for Liver­pool fol­low­ing a cross from 18-year-old Trent Alexan­der-Arnold.

Liver­pool’s vic­tory means a sec­ond League Cup semi­fi­nal ap­pear­ance in as many years un­der Klopp’s man­age­ment. – The In­de­pen­dent


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