Neil Critchley felt Luis Longstaff’s last-gasp equaliser was no more than his Liverpool U23s side deserved after a 2-2 draw away at Leicester City on Friday night.

Curtis Jones opened the scoring for the Reds in the Premier League 2 encounter with a brilliant individual effort, but defensive lapses saw the Foxes take a 2-1 half-time lead.

Deep into stoppage time, though, Adam Lewis and Jones combined as Longstaff netted from close range to earn the U23s a share of the spoils.

Read on for Critchley’s post-match thoughts…

On whether he felt a point was a fair result…

I think over the balance of play over the 90 minutes you could say that. We had a lot of the game, a lot of possession and I thought in the first half we played some outstanding football. It was really frustrating to say the least that we were losing at half-time. We showed our frailties there which is something we have shown at times this season. I was quite angry at half-time that had happened, but in the second half I thought we showed really good character. There’s no better way sometimes than to score a last-minute equaliser because it feels like a winner sometimes. We have got to learn from these games we are playing. We have to show more personality, more emotion in the game at very important times but they are young boys and they are giving everything that they have got. We just need to do better in some moments of the game, but overall a point was well deserved in the end.

On whether the final ball could have been better at times despite enjoying a lot of possession…

We got into some really good areas through the football we were playing. We had great control but our counter-pressing could have been better and our protection behind our attacks could have been better at times, but up until the 40th minute I was really pleased with our performance. We gave them a goal out of nothing and then conceded straight after from another mistake, which sort of summed up our season so far. Maybe at times we could have had better choices around their box and that final pass could be better.

On a busy week of action for the young players including the UEFA Youth League draw in Napoli…

It has been a great week. In terms of development for our players, a fantastic week. We played Derby County then Napoli and Leicester City on Friday. We had three draws but you would probably say we should have at least six points which would have been a fair reflection. But considering some of those boys have played in all three games, the way we finished the game I thought was really encouraging. The physical side of the game I was really pleased with. We now need to recover and we have got another busy week coming up next week.

On the stoppage-time equaliser…

You are always hoping you will get a chance before the end and we had one just before that when the ball went across their six-yard box and no one was there to tap it in. I thought we would get a chance and we sort of forced it in, but it was good play from Adam and Curtis and Luis was there in the right time in the right position and I’m really made up for him. When you are playing in a tough game and you get something out of it, that feeling is so much better because that is the reward you get for all the hard work you put in. We’ve had some tough games and we have a young group this season but we want it to be tough for them. They need to feel what it’s like in the tough moments if they are going to make that step into senior football.

On the great character of the team offering good signs for the rest of the season…

It really does, yes. I’ve got to say the character has been questioned in the games and even tonight at times, first half especially, but fair play the boys stuck at it and gave everything. You don’t score a 95th-minute equaliser if you are not pushing forward and not giving everything to try and score that goal, so I was really delighted with that aspect. Knowing what it takes to win games and play the real game is really important for these boys and if we can improve on that this season as a group then I think that will be a massive bonus for us as staff and players.

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Curtis Jones of Liverpool FC

Match report: Longstaff's late leveller gets U23s a draw at Leicester