Neil Critchley pulled no punches when he delivered his honest assessment of Liverpool U23s' 3-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday night.

The Londoners fielded experienced internationals Antonio Rudiger and Michy Batshuayi, with the Belgium striker netting twice.

Curtis Jones was named captain after penning his new contract and was joined in the line-up by the likes of Rhian Brewster, Ki-Jana Hoever and Sepp van den Berg.

Read on for Critchley’s thoughts on a frustrating night for the young Reds…

On the overall display…

That was a tough night, to be honest. There were a million moments where we could have done a lot better in and loads of situations in and out of possession where we failed. We stuck at it and showed a bit of character towards the end, but the game was gone at that stage. The manner in which we got beat and our performance was disappointing really.

On whether the experience of Batshuayi and Rudiger made life tougher for his players…

No, because you want to play against the best players. I thought Rudiger and Batshuayi played the game properly and they were a credit to themselves, real professionals. They showed a proper good attitude and were a great example to not only their players, but ours as well. That was a tough night for our defenders playing against Batshuayi and our forwards against Rudiger. The biggest crime from the game is if we don’t take anything from this. If we don’t learn from it, we don’t improve and don’t look to improve then that’s worse than the defeat.

On a long way to go in the season for the side to gel…

We looked a bit disjointed and we looked a new team playing for the first time on the pitch. We made quite a few changes from our last game and it does take time to build those relationships. We didn’t have that on the pitch, it will take time. But again, the boys have to show that right mentality every day in training and that willingness to learn.

On the start his team made to the game…

I thought we looked quite edgy and nervous in the first 10 to 15 minutes then we grew into the game with some nice passages of play. The first goal was a really critical goal at that stage of the game. Then for the second goal, we didn't defend well enough and Batshuayi shows good movement in the box, we’ve not marked him properly and he’s finished it off. You are then chasing the game and then it becomes open and we are chasing the game against some good players and good athletes. It was tough at times but we have to dust ourselves down, learn from it, move on and see if we can do better in the next game.

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