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Competitive test was just what we wanted

The boss reflects on Rovers' first game in almost three months after taking on European Champions Liverpool at Anfield

12 June 2020

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Whilst the result wasn't what Rovers would have wanted, Tony Mowbray felt everything else in the behind closed doors against Liverpool proved to be hugely beneficial.

In Rovers' first outing since the trip to Derby County back in March, goals from Sadio Mane, Naby Keita, Takumi Minamino, Joel Matip, Ki-Jana Hoever and Leighton Clarkson earned a big win for the hosts.

Jurgen Klopp picked a strong side at Anfield as the current European Champions and Premier League table-toppers earned a big victory on home turf, ahead of their Merseyside derby with Everton next weekend.

But speaking after the game, Mowbray was left content with the workout for his side.

“An opportunity to play Liverpool is something that you can’t turn down, in my opinion," he reflected to iFollow Rovers post-match.

“You can sit there, be clever and think about them being the best team in the world and it could knock confidence, but the mindset of the players is that they would all want to go and play at Anfield, they’d all want totes themselves against the best.

“The likes of Virgil van Dijk, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane all played and it was a great experience for us. I think it highlighted to us where the very best are.

“We all saw that game and I have to be careful that I don’t judge my own players off the standard of that opposition, because they are a pressing machine.

“You can’t play your own game because Liverpool don’t let you have three passes.

“It’s amazing to watch the machine that they are," he added.

“But it’s good for our team because we spent a lot of time out of possession, we had to chase a lot and the physical data from that game was really high, which is just what we wanted 10 days before the big kick-off.

“It was a competitive game of football and I spoke to Jurgen after the game who understands that it wasn’t just a friendly match.

“We’re both getting ready, we’re both intense and there certainly were benefits of playing the game for us.”

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