FOOTBALL: Klopp urges patience with Woodburn

Liverpool's Ben Woodburn celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game during the EFL Cup, Quarter Final match at Anfield. Pic: Press Association

Liverpool's Ben Woodburn celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game during the EFL Cup, Quarter Final match at Anfield. Pic: Press Association

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits teenager Ben Woodburn has to be handled carefully after he became the club’s youngest goalscorer.

The academy graduate, at 17 years and 45 days, beat Michael Owen’s record by 98 days to write his name into Anfield history books with an emphatic 81st-minute finish in the 2-0 win over Leeds in the EFL Cup quarter-final.

Woodburn had only made his first-team debut in Saturday’s victory over Sunderland - and that was barely a minute at the end of the match - but he is highly-rated within the club.

The fact he was born in Chester, like Owen, will only lend itself to unrealistic comparisons - something Klopp is keen to avoid so early in his career.

“It’s all good. We know what Ben’s capable of,” said the Reds boss.

“My first job is to help these boys be the best. There’s a lot of things to do, especially to keep the public away as long as possible. That’s quite a difficult thing to do. But we only bring him when we want to use him. That means when he is on the pitch he is absolutely allowed to score goals.

“I am really happy with him, the only problem is I am a little afraid about you (the press).

“We know how to handle the situation. I can say whatever I want but if he scores goals it’s difficult to stay cool from your side, no problem. Nothing what we say here is important enough to help Ben Woodburn or myself. Tonight it was very important that we could have him (Woodburn) on the bench and bring him on.”