Jurgen Klopp was full of praise for his starlets after Liverpool’s 2-1 EFL Cup win over Tottenham at Anfield.
Daniel Sturridge struck twice as the Reds saw off Spurs to reach the quarter-finals and maintain their unbeaten run to 10 matches.
But Klopp singled out debutant right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Ovie Ejaria, who started in midfield, for plaudits.
Klopp said: “I knew before the game that there would be a way to have them in the team. We had an idea of what we would do but the medical department came to us with some problems.
“But anything that didn’t work, you can blame me because I selected the line-up. Anything that is positive, that is down to the players absolutely.
“It was a hard challenge with 11 changes. It was not perfect, but on a perfect day everyone can show what they can do.
“You need to come back in games when you have difficult moments. Like a yellow card for Trent; he’s far away from being a really hard challenger. But he stayed in the game, made lots of challenges against Georges-Kevin Nkoudou on the wing, and was smart with it.
“Ovie did a brilliant job, worked so hard. Marko Grujic; the 10 is not his perfect position, but I always say the 10 is not an offensive position, it needs you to work hard for the team and he ran a lot, and did well. I’m happy with this.
“These boys need to go back, train hard and try to come again. That’s how it is. We have a few of them every day with us, and the rest are in the academy. When they are ready, they can make the next step.”
Liverpool face a trip to Selhurst Park on Saturday ti face Crystal palace in the Premier League, with a 5.30pm kick-off.