Xherdan Shaqiri on Ki-Jana Hoever’s debut and how Liverpool will respond to FA Cup exit

8 January 2019

Xherdan Shaqiri is adamant that Liverpool have the quality to bounce back with immediate effect against Brighton following their elimination from the FA Cup.


Liverpool suffered their second defeat in succession on Monday night after a much-changed side fell to a 2-1 loss at the hands of Wolves, a result which Shaqiri refused to be concerned over.

The Swiss attacker made his 12th start for the club at Molineux in a side which featured nine changes to the team who faced Man City, and also included three debutants.

Goals from Raul Jimenez and Ruben Neves secured victory for the hosts despite Divock Origi’s strike early in the second half, but Shaqiri felt the Reds did not have luck on their side after seeing his free-kick narrowly avoid nestling in the back of the net.

Following the game he voiced his disappointment at an early exit from the competition to LFCTV, but insisted Liverpool have enough strength in depth to return to the winners’ list against Brighton on Saturday.

He said: “Of course, we are disappointed after this game because we lost, first of all, but I think we didn’t deserve this result because we tried to play football.

“We tried to come back. We tried everything until the end and you cannot say the attitude wasn’t there until the last minute. We tried everything.

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Monday, January 7, 2019: Liverpool's Sheridan Shaqiri shoots during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Sometimes you need luck also and the free-kick was very unlucky. I saw the ball inside already, but it never went in.

“We obviously had a lot of young players and a lot of players in who didn’t play for a long time. We wanted to win this game to go to the next round, but the FA Cup is like this: you lose the game and you are out.

“So, we close this game now and are looking forward to the weekend and the Premier League.”

When pressed on whether the result and injuries to key members of the squad will require the Reds to ‘dig deep’ to achieve the desired outcome against the Seagulls, he added: “I think we have enough players who can jump in.

“This season we have the depth. There are a lot of players who are going to come in and give everything and the quality is still there.”

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Monday, January 7, 2019: Liverpool's Ki-Jana Hoever during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With Klopp opting to heavily rotate his team following an intense festive fixture list, opportunities were handed to a handful of the club’s brightest prospects including Rafa Camacho and Curtis Jones.

But, it was Ki-Jana Hoever who stole the spotlight after being thrown into proceedings with just six minutes on the board, after Dejan Lovren succumbed to injury.

The 16-year-old duly impressed at the heart of defence, showing the composure and confidence of a veteran which earned him the praise of his team-mate.

“He is very nice,” Shaqiri said, having trained with Hoever since his promotion to the first-team squad in mid-December.

“He is still very young, you see that on the pitch also. He came on and he tried everything. He is going to be a very good player in the future.”

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