Steven Gerrard believes Liverpool’s U19s will benefit hugely from the experience of competing in this weekend’s pre-season tournament in Switzerland.
A 3-1 win over Juventus on Sunday meant the young Reds finished third in a competition hosted by FC Aesch that involved Gerrard’s team playing five matches.
Liverpool began their tournament with a goalless draw with SV Hamburg, before two Adam Lewis penalties earned a 2-0 victory over Olympiacos.
Lewis again netted from the spot in a 1-1 draw with FC Basel that secured a semi-final tie with Fulham.
Glen McAuley pulled one back after the London club had taken an early two-goal lead but, despite creating several opportunities, the young Reds couldn’t find an equaliser and Fulham then added a third to seal a 3-1 win.
However, Gerrard’s side responded superbly in the third-place play-off and goals from Liam Millar, Rafael Camacho and Yasser Larouci saw off Juve.
Reflecting on the competition, Gerrard told Liverpoolfc.com: “It’s a test physically, it’s a test mentally and we need to see what these lads are like when the pressure is on, when they are tired, and when they are asked to perform when they are out of their comfort zone.
“When you play at the highest level the most testing time is always in the last 30 minutes of games and we ask the lads: ‘Can you produce quality as a player when you are tired, when your body wants to give up and when you want to quit?’
“It’s tournaments like this that give you a flavour individually - both mentally and physically.
“You learn an awful lot about them, not just as footballers on the ball, but what they are like off the ball, what they are like around hotels, how they cope when you ask them to play minutes when they are tired.
“They get asked a lot of questions over two days and the majority of them have done really well.”
Gerrard went on to assess the loss to Fulham and called on his players to learn from the defeat.
He added: “We were disappointed to lose to Fulham in the semi-final.
“I thought in the first 45 minutes we showed them too much respect, but in the second 45 I thought we matched them all over the park and we probably edged the second half.
“The lesson to learn from that game is you can't wait 45 minutes to go and match a team physically and mentally, so I think we lost that game in the first half.
“In the final game against Juventus we had to use our squad players and share the minutes out to give some of the players a game who haven't played much over these couple of days.
“There was a lot of positives to take out of that game and it was a nice way to finish the tournament with a win, but we were disappointed with the Fulham result.”