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Jan Molby on Jurgen Klopp's big game mentality and performance against Stoke City

Jurgen Klopp hug

Earlier in the week, Liverpool won the first leg of their League Cup semi-final against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium.

Former Liverpool midfielder Jan Molby has said in his Liverpool Echo column that he believes the side's League Cup tie with Stoke City will remain in the balance after the Reds won the first leg 1-0 at the Britannia Stadium.

A Jordon Ibe goal makes the Reds favourites to reach the final at Wembley at the end of February and despite the advantage Molby expects things to be pretty tight at Anfield at the second leg, and expects a much improved performance from the Potters.

He wrote in his Liverpool Echo column that he saw the big game mentality of Jurgen Klopp's management come through.

The Dane said: "The performance against Stoke in the semi-final of the Capital One Cup was the best for a number of weeks and I don’t think it’s a coincidence it came in a big game.

"He’s using his experience to make sure the players are ready and know what the game means."

As Molby says, it was certainly a marked difference from the performance that was served up away to West Ham United three days earlier, where the Reds went down 2-0 at the Boleyn Ground. 

The opportunity of reaching a cup final seemed to have driven the Reds on in that game and Molby reserved a few words of praise for a couple of players: Joe Allen who was handed a rare start, and Lucas Leiva who had to fill in at centre-back for most of the game following an injury picked up by Dejan Lovren.

"Joe Allen had a good game and I’m not surprised. He’s a very energetic player and gets around the pitch, maybe just lacks a little bit of end product. I still think he can have a future under Jurgen Klopp. Lucas also won praise after going to centre back. I wasn’t shocked either because we know his quality when he plays well."

There's a lot of football to be played in between now and the second leg of the tie when the Reds hope to make their first final in four years. Big Premier League games against Arsenal, Manchester United and Norwich City are to come after they attempt to avoid being knocked out by Exeter City with plenty of youngsters expected to play. 

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