Liverpool have come through a busy January unscathed, largely thanks to the performances of Liverpool’s youngsters in the squad.
Speaking to LFC TV after the match, Mc Connell explained how Klopp’s faith in youth has given hope to academy prospects.
The Newcastle-born player was asked if he felt the opportunity was coming, and replied: “I think you’re hoping more than thinking, probably.
“You’re just thinking maybe he’ll give you a chance because of the history he’s got for giving youngster’s chances, like you see with Conor [Bradley] and Jarell [Quansah], Stefan [Bajcetic] last year.
“So yeah, I think it was more of hope, but you always know if you work hard, then the chance is gonna come and you’ve just got to try and do your best to take it.”
McConnell certainly took his chance, with teammate Bradley adding: “It’s all about hard work.
“If you just keep working hard in training, you’ll get your chance, and he got his chance today and he took it with a brilliant assist.”
The highlight of McConnell’s game came early on, when he floated a lovely pass, using his weaker left foot, to Curtis Jones, who steered home a great header for the opening goal.
That was just 16 minutes into the match. The 19-year-old was also asked about what Klopp told him before the game.
“‘Just enjoy it. Family’s all here so just enjoy it and work hard’,” was McConnell’s response.
“I think he just sort of leaves you to it. I think that’s the best way because if he plays you, he knows that you’re ready. I think the best thing you can do is sort of treat you like all the other players.
“It just give you a confidence boost.”