Neil Critchley reserved special praise for Liverpool U23s after his side delivered arguably their best performance of the season on Monday.

Southampton were beaten 5-0 in the Premier League 2 contest at the Academy, with Joe Hardy netting twice - his first goals for the club - and Harvey Elliott, Curtis Jones and Liam Millar also on the mark. 

Read on for Critchley’s post-match thoughts...

LFCTV GO: Watch the best of the 5-0 win

On whether it was one of the most enjoyable displays of the season…

I would have thought so, yes. I thought we played some fantastic football from the first whistle and we had total control of the game. The passing and moving, dominating possession, pressing and counter pressing - the boys are in a really good place at the moment. It’s our job to make sure they maintain that and improve upon that but I didn’t think 5-0 flattered us.

On not being concerned about the attitude of the players who featured in the FA Cup Merseyside derby...

No, I don’t worry and that’s testament I think to how they have been brought up and the standard which we drive towards, and obviously the work they get at Melwood and the message from the manager and the staff there. They get a great example from the players and the senior players in and around the first team and the staff. We just repeat that message and I thought the humility with which we played the game right from the first whistle, and even when we were 3-0 up at half-time, we didn’t step off the gas for one second and that was the result of it.

On new signing Hardy getting off the mark for the Reds...

It was a nice moment and I know that will mean a lot to him. I thought he showed what he is going to be for us. In a lot of our games this season we haven’t scored the goals our domination of possession has merited and we know that if we give him a chance he will score. Joe was disappointed to come off because strikers want to score goals and he wanted his hat-trick. But Liam came on and got a goal as well so that was nice for him.

On Jones scoring from his 10th shot on goal…

Curtis had a lot of shots, they kept whistling just past the post and I thought he wasn’t going to score - and then he saves one of the best ones to last, so it was a fantastic finish. Not quite as good as the one he scored against Everton at Anfield the other week but he’ll make do with that!

Liverpool U23s return to action on Friday when they take on Wigan Athletic in the Premier League Cup, at the Lancashire FA County Ground in Leyland.

Kick-off is at 7pm GMT and you can watch the game live on LFCTV.

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