By support

3rd Apr, 2017 | 9:47pm

Neil Mellor blasts Liverpool Under-23s after display v Norwich

By Harvey Byrne

Former striker Neil Mellor has hit out at the Liverpool Under-23s after they fell to a 1-0 defeat against Norwich in the Premier League Cup quarter-finals.

The young Reds were without emerging stars Ben Woodburn, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Marko Grujic for various reasons with many being handed opportunities in the Under-23s.

However, Mellor felt that they simply did not step up to the plate and labelled them as “off the pace”, “ineffective” and believed there was a big lack of quality against their Norwich counterparts.

“Liverpool were off the pace,” started Mellor speaking to LFCTV on Monday evening.

“Too many were ineffective, you want players to make things happen, certainly in the final third.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“There was a big lack of quality and it was a tough night defensively, because Norwich had a big powerful centre-forward which we struggled to deal with.

“So, it’s a disappointing night for the lads. You want to see them learn from it. The ones who had the opportunity tonight, probably didn’t stake to want to play more you would say.”

Liverpool certainly have a good record of bringing players through their academy and the aforementioned Woodburn, Alexander-Arnold and Sheyi Ojo are just a few to come through in recent times.

However, the cup elimination alongside sitting 11 points behind close rivals Everton in third in the Premier League 2 table doesn’t read too great on the outside.

But, players such as Raheem Sterling, Michael Owen, Jamie Carrgaher and Steven Gerrard who are a few who have broken through in the past twenty years show how successful the academy is and Monday’s result may be a one off due to missing a number of key youngsters.

In other Liverpool news, Rio Ferdinand has named this unlikely player as the club’s best centre-back.

We’ve launched a << BREAKING NEWS FEED>> exclusively for your club. ‘Like Us’ on Facebook by clicking here if you want 24/7 updates on all Liverpool breaking news.