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Neil Critchley singles out one Liverpool youngster for praise following Shrewsbury performance

Neco Williams

Liverpool's Under-23 manager Neil Critchley has hailed Neco Williams' "incredible" performance against Shrewsbury.

In protest at the scheduling of the game in the middle of their winter break, Jurgen Klopp sent the club's Under-23s in place of the first team for last week's FA Cup fourth-round replay.

Klopp himself delegated managerial duties to Critchley and watched the game on a laptop.

And the 41-year-old singled out Williams for praise, labelling the right-back as the "most dangerous attacker" on the pitch.

"It was a brilliant bit of play [for the goal] but that’s Neco,” Critchley told Liverpool's official website.

"I thought he was incredible on the evening. He was everywhere on the pitch, he was defending, intercepting, running forward and you’d have to say he was also probably our most dangerous attacker from full-back.

"He had three or four shots at goal and I thought he was fantastic.

"[On the goal] That was the message we said to the boys at half-time. You could say there was some luck involved in the goal but also one of our messages was we need to look in behind their defence a bit more.

"We told them to search the space in behind and we need to have runners to do that. It was a little bit of fortune how it happened but also I’d like to think the boys had taken on the message at half-time.

"We did start to look to get in behind them a bit more because when you are playing against a back five you’ve got to give those defenders something to defend and ask some questions of them, and I thought we did that much better in the second half.

"Neco’s best quality is his humility. He is still the same boy he was a few months ago and he has always been the same.

"He plays every game the same. It wouldn’t matter if he was playing in front of 50-odd thousand at Anfield or playing for the under-23s or under-19s. He plays the game the same way and that’s his best quality.

"He has been here for a very long time and he’s had great support from his family.”


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