Jurgen Klopp insists the “only reason” he took off 19-year-old Neco Williams at half-time of the 3-1 win over Brighton was his yellow card.
Williams was given a torrid time for 45 minutes in Brighton and picked up a booking for a challenge on Brighton’s Tariq Lamptey.
The young Welshman was playing out of position at left-back – he is usually a right-back – as Klopp tried to rest Andy Robertson, but the Scot had to come on at half-time to replace Williams.
“The yellow card was the only reason,” insisted Klopp. “He was good but I cannot ask a 19-year-old not to make another challenge any more on a yellow card.
“We asked a lot, we put him on the wrong side and asked him for a really hard press. We asked for a lot but he can do that. He was good but the yellow card was too much.
“I know in football, everybody thinks it’s not good if you take a player off after 45 minutes.
“He had a yellow card and we didn’t protect him well enough on the left.
“It was his first professional start so I cannot tell him not to tackle. I liked a lot of his stuff – he will learn so there is absolutely no problem. I liked a lot how he played.”