James Milner helped inspire young Liverpool team, says Neil Critchley, Latest Football News - The New Paper

James Milner helped inspire young Liverpool team, says Neil Critchley

Liverpool's Under-23 manager Neil Critchley has credited James Milner with helping inspire the club's youngest-ever starting side to their FA Cup fourth-round victory against Shrewsbury Town yesterday morning (Singapore time).

With Juergen Klopp opting to rest his senior squad for the replay during the English Premier League's winter break, Milner, 34, took it upon himself to get heavily involved in the young side's build up to the clash at Anfield, reported Reuters.

Liverpool won the tie 1-0 via a Ro-Shaun Williams own goal 15 minutes from time.

Said Critchley: "(Milner) trained with us yesterday and he asked whether he could come along.

"I was like, 'I think the answer is yes to that one. Of course, you can.' He was very respectful to ask.

"He has achieved so much in the game because of who he is; he was giving words of advice to the players, he was getting right behind them, he was vocal in the dressing room and animated behind me."

Critchley said Milner, who has been sidelined with injury, was delighted with the performance against the third-tier side.

"I don't think he's available yet... but he was jumping up and down behind me, so I think he was desperate to get on," said Critchley, adding that Klopp had also sent a message to the team.

"He's buzzing. We've given him a (fifth-round) game against Chelsea away to look forward to."

The Reds can also look forward to an outstanding talent in Curtis Jones, who captained Liverpool yesterday.

Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge told Sky Sports: "I've been watching Curtis for some years now, since he was 15. And you could see - very much like Trent Alexander-Arnold - the potential that the lad had.

"He is just a quality footballer with natural ability and a good arrogance. He knows he is good and he does things the right way.

"But the lad can be a star... It looks like Adam Lallana is leaving at the end of the season after his contract expires.

"This lad will save the manager a lot of money because he can step right into the squad and you can always depend on him."