Jurgen Klopp says he and Liverpool would have been "lost" without the impact of his young players this season.
Injuries to key players such as Virgil van Dijk, Thiago Alcantara and goalkeeper Alisson have threatened to hamper Liverpool's chances of defending their Premier League crown, but even with those big-name absentees, Liverpool remain level on points with Tottenham at the top of the table, while already having secured progression to the last-16 of the Champions League with a game to spare.
Curtis Jones has impressed in midfield, Neco Williams has filled in for Trent Alexander-Arnold with ease, Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips have both made their senior debuts, while Caoimhin Kelleher has also helped contribute to a defence that has conceded just six goals in 11 games in all competitions since Van Dijk got injured.
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"They were well prepared," said Klopp. "When one door closes another opens up but you need the right kids to use - and how the boys did it. Rhys [Williams] has been exceptional, Neco [Williams] played two good games in a row. Curtis [Jones] plays like he has for 10 years.
"Vitor Matos and Pep Lijnders are really close with that group and they were well prepared. So that's why we could use them.
Without these players, we would have been lost, to be honest. Thank God it turned out the way it did. The big part is that they were ready for it and they were really well-prepared, that's why we've been able to use them in the way we have used them.

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Speaking ahead of Liverpool's dead-rubber Champions League clash with FC Midtjylland, Klopp insisted that wholesale changes will not be made to his starting XI.
"There are players that didn't play in the Wolves game and I still have a few hours to make decisions before Wednesday, to analyse things," he said.
"It's the first time we don't have to get a result in the last match of the group stage so we have to consider that situation but we also have to consider it's the Champions League, we are Liverpool and we want to win the game.
"All of these things will lead to the line-up."
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