U21s preview: 'We've got to be more clinical in the final third - we'll put it right'

AcademyU21s preview: 'We've got to be more clinical in the final third - we'll put it right'

Published 25th January 2023
By Steve Hunter

Liverpool U21s head coach Barry Lewtas has called on his side to be more clinical in the final third as they head to Wolverhampton Wanderers in Premier League 2 on Friday night.

During last Sunday’s 1-0 home loss to Crystal Palace, the young Reds dominated the game for the most part but just couldn’t find the net despite numerous promising openings.

It was their third straight defeat in Premier League 2 so far in 2023, and Lewtas’ charges will be looking to get back on track in the division against Wolves.

The game is at Kidderminster Harriers' Aggborough Stadium and you can watch live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO, with kick-off set for 7pm GMT.

Read on as Lewtas reflects on a frustrating day against Palace and looks forward to the trip to Wolves…

On a frustrating loss to Palace…

I have to be careful I don’t keep talking about hard-luck stories each time. I think the game was pretty evident really. We knew how they were going to attack us, so I was really disappointed with the goal we conceded. But then against a team who were as aggressive as they are, the control we had and how we moved the ball towards their box we were quite comfortable in that. We had a number of solutions but obviously in and around the box is where we have been struggling as a team really.

It’s not through a lack of quality and I just feel it’s been through poor decision-making. We are better than that and it’s something we will work on. The level of performance was good in parts but we didn’t get anything out of the game and we can’t keep on making excuses.

Highlights: Liverpool U21s 0-1 Crystal Palace

On finding solutions to finish off the chances when Layton Stewart and Oakley Cannonier are missing…

Box to box we are good but it’s just our final pass and the decision-making around it to finish. It’s something we have talked a lot about and it’s something we will get right because of the quality of the players that we’ve got. Just because we have good approach play doesn’t mean we should win the game and we have to work on that.

It was similar to a few of the other games recently in that we have had chances but we probably can carve out better ones as well. For the amount of times we are getting into the opposition penalty box, we are not working their goalkeeper enough. I think the good thing is we know where our problems are and I’m sure we will fix them.

On Calvin Ramsay and Ben Doak both getting 90 minutes against Palace…

It was great for both players to play the full game. Calvin played a big part in how we built and constructed our attacks, so fair play to him. I thought Ben was a constant threat to them. Their full-back Omatayo Adaramola is a good player and I thought it was a cracking battle, and I thought Ben did ever so well.

On Friday night’s trip to Wolves…

Another good game and another good test for the lads against a good side. In terms of the law of averages, if we do get into the good areas we need to finish off our chances. We’ve got good players and we are looking forward to Friday. We’ve got to maintain our form in certain moments of the game which is really good, and the final end product is what we need to get right.

Published 25th January 2023