Press conference

Freddie - Why I picked such a young side

Freddie

With an average age of 24 years and 50 days, our starting XI against Everton was our youngest since May 2011.

So why did Freddie Ljungberg include so many youngsters? This is what he told the media after the game:

on whether new head coaches being in the stands affected the players...
It's so difficult to say. I hope that they cared but at the same time I wasn't happy with how we played against Man City. I don't think we had enough energy, we didn't respect the game enough, and that's why I picked the team I did today. I said when I did this that I would give everybody a chance. I think I've given everybody a chance to play. If people then run and try hard in training, I would reward them and these boys have been doing that for three weeks. I felt like, 'OK, this is your time so show me'. They did. They really, really put an effort in there and I'm really proud of them.

on whether picking younger players was a statement...
I think we have a lot of talent but from what I said before against City, I wasn't happy with the effort we put in. We played a top team and of course they're very good, but you still need to run and you need to put in an effort. What I put on here today, I know they're young and don't have any experience - some even made their Premier League debuts and we had an 18-year-old at left back who's a winger - but they did really, really well and dominated a game against Everton away from home. We, as a club, should be very proud of that.

 

 

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