Cameron Brannagan believes Friday night's 2-2 draw with Exeter City in the FA Cup third round was a great experience for he and his young teammates, despite proving testing on a tough evening at St James Park.
Jürgen Klopp’s team came from behind twice on a tricky playing surface thanks to Jerome Sinclair and Brad Smith’s first goals for the club to set up an Anfield replay after the hosts had taken the lead on two occasions before half-time.
And Brannagan, who put in a fine 90 minutes in the centre of midfield, was pleased with the response.
He told Liverpoolfc.com: “It was was disappointing to go into the break 2-1 down. The manager got us together at half-time and said, ‘Come on, we need to dig in and keep doing what we’re doing and play our football’. We came out in the second half and we did that.
“I’m happy for Brad Smith to get his goal and Jerome as well. It was a great experience for us and hopefully in the next round we can do the job.
“We’re all together in the U21s and everybody knows each other well. It was all about experience and enjoying the moment. The manager just said, ‘Enjoy it and go out there and show what you can do. Don’t worry about it if you make a mistake'.
“I don’t think the pitch bothered us, it was fine at times. Obviously it got a bit bad towards the end but we dug through it. None of us made it an excuse. We carried on playing like we do.”
After Klopp opted to give the nod to youth at St James Park, Brannagan is hopeful the current spate of injuries and busy schedule will give chance for some of them to stay around the first team.
He added: “We’re there every day training with the manager and our aim is to hopefully push on and work our way into the first team. That’s what we’re aiming to do.
“Obviously it’s a disappointing time to see some great players injured, but we’ve got to take our chance when it comes and carry on with what we’re doing.
“We were disappointed to draw. We were hoping that we could get the win but it was great for us youngsters because that’ll hopefully give us chance to play again
“Everyone is made up and looking forward to the next game.”