League Cup scare will galvanise Liverpool – McAllister

gary-mcallisterLiverpool first-team coach Gary McAllister believes the penalty shoot-out win over League Two Carlisle will help galvanise Liverpool after a poor start to the season.

Carlisle, the lowest-ranked team in the competition, took Liverpool to penalties at Anfield after the game finished 1-1 following extra time, Derek Asamoah having cancelled out Danny Ings’ 23rd-minute opener.

Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho both saw penalties saved by Mark Gillespie, but reserve goalkeeper Adam Bogdan parried the decisive spot-kick from Carlisle’s French forward Bastien Hery to earn Liverpool a 3-2 shootout win and spare manager Brendan Rodgers a humiliating exit.

“When it comes to a penalty shoot-out, there is that coming together of players in the middle of the pitch and we’ve stepped forward and got through,” the Scot said after going through 3-2 on spot-kicks to book a fourth-round date at home to Bournemouth.

“We’ve shown that bit of character and we’re delighted for Adam Bogdan, making the saves to get us through.

“Maybe this is one of those little things that can just pull us together as we look forward to the weekend.”

Liverpool are languishing in 13th spot in the Premier League with just eight points from six games and host struggling Aston Villa at Anfield on Saturday.

And McAllister added: “Like everyone. We are delighted to be through to the next round.

“There were big sighs of relief in the dressing room. Of course, we would have liked to have won the game in 90 minutes.

“We started well, passed it well and losing Roberto Firmino (to a back injury in the first half) just set us back a touch. Again there were flashes, but we were not up to the speed we are looking at.

“The positives were we are through to the next round and we’ve had over 50 shots at goal.

“We’ve been asking the players to step forward and take more responsibility and we had that tonight (Wednesday) – we just didn’t worry the keeper enough.

“The players have to trust themselves and they kept trying – no-one shied away from it.”

Carlisle manager Keith Curle was proud of his players.

“You are looking at a team which made a lot of friends tonight,” he said.

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