Lewtas on Palace fightback, Spurs quarter-final and Kaide Gordon

U21s previewLewtas on Palace fightback, Spurs quarter-final and Kaide Gordon

By Steve Hunter


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Barry Lewtas praised the spirit and desire of his players after Liverpool U21s came from two goals behind to beat Crystal Palace last weekend and set up a play-off quarter-final with Tottenham Hotspur.

The young Reds face Spurs in a Premier League 2 last-eight tie at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday night (kick-off 7pm BST), having claimed a dramatic 3-2 victory over Palace.

Kaide Gordon netted twice against the Eagles, including one fantastic solo effort, and 16-year-old Trey Nyoni capped a fine individual display with a memorable winner.

The winners of this tie will host either Arsenal or Chelsea in the semi-finals, and this is a game you can watch live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO from 6.55pm.

Read on as U21s head coach Lewtas reflects with Liverpoolfc.com on the five-goal thriller against Palace and previews Sunday’s trip to Tottenham…

On a fantastic comeback from his side against Palace…

It was a really good game between two good teams. We knew how tough it would be and if I’m going to be totally honest, Crystal Palace is always one of the hardest games of the season. It was a really good performance. The response to going 2-0 down and to kind of come back the way we did it was a special kind of afternoon really.

On Gordon getting sharper and sharper after his lengthy time on the sidelines…

Kaide was brilliant. In fairness to him, he has been a real strong performer for us. He scored a great goal against Manchester United at Old Trafford and there have been other moments as well. His performances have become more and more consistent and his contribution to the team overall has been consistent.

He had the captain’s armband and I thought he led by example against Palace. He defended ever so well but obviously his two goals and the assist was the difference in the end. His goal to make it 2-2 was a brilliant goal. It was a strong pass into him and I think he thought about hitting it first time but the touch was there, he bent it in and it was a lovely goal.

On working with talented 16-year-old Nyoni…

He has been fantastic. For a boy so young, on top of that it’s a new club and he has had to build new relationships with different coaches he’s not known and build relationships with the players. To perform at the level he’s been performing, he can be proud of the way he has adapted. He has been a real good player for us this season since coming into the group from the U18s, he has had some moments where he has had to adapt.

He is only 16 so there have been some weeks where he has been really up against it against strong and physical opponents, but his quality has been there. I thought against Palace he was excellent, I really did, and his goal summed up his performance and I told him that after the game. For Trey, he can be really proud but hopefully there is more good performances in him between now and the end of the season.

On goalkeeper Fabian Mrozek saving a penalty and making several good stops…

Fabian has done well for us. To concede a penalty so early on and then to concede a second penalty, the group responded really well. Fab has been really good for us this season, he made a mistake giving away a penalty but he got his head back together, saved the first one and he deserves a lot of credit for that.

On the challenge posed by Tottenham…

Well, Tottenham in fairness finished in first place. They only lost two games and one of them they fielded a really young team because they were in the Premier League Cup final. I suppose for a team that is in form, quite consistent in their line-ups, you probably look on paper and say this is one of the toughest tests for us. But it’s one we are really excited for.

I think the way we have approached this season, we’ve been competitive in nearly every game we’ve played, there’s been a real kind of freedom in our play because we just want to go out and win and that’s it. That showed in the second half against a really strong Palace team. We just took the handbrake off and gave it our best go. We know how good Tottenham are going to be, but our challenge is to be as good as we can be. We know how competitive we can be, and when you are competitive you have always got a chance.

On getting the chance to play at Tottenham’s senior stadium…

It is brilliant. I will say every game is different but recently we got the opportunity to play at Reading’s first-team stadium, then that great night for us at Old Trafford. They are two games we can look back on and say we performed really well in. It is special to play there and maybe that extra bit of motivation can be an edge for us and we need to make sure it’s not an edge for them.



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This article has been automatically translated and, while all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure accuracy, some errors in translation are possible. Please refer to the original English-language version of the article for the official version.