Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says a 0-0 home draw with Plymouth Argyle could also have been the result had he picked his regular starting XI.
The Reds made 10 changes to their line-up against their League Two opponents on Sunday, with only Emre Can keeping his place from their Premier League draw at Sunderland for the FA Cup third-round tie.
That meant Liverpool played the youngest team in their history at an average age of 21 years and 296 days – beating their previous record from a match with Wolves in 1965.
Klopp ended up bringing on Roberto Firmino, Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge in the second half, but the trio of high-profile substitutes could not save Liverpool from being held to an uninspiring draw.
“With our other line-up it could be possible that the result was still the same,” Klopp said to BBC Sport.
“Not likely but possible. It was a good experience for the boys.
“A game like this is not easy to make exciting. We had a young side so that is difficult.
“We can do better and, if we do better, then we have a good chance of making the next round.”
Klopp felt a lack of patience was what prevented his young team from sealing a place in the fourth round.
He told BT Sport: “It is not a result we wished for but it is not frustrating – that is football. Plymouth deserved the draw and the rematch.
“We started well, we played football but then we lost patience too early and tried to force it.
“This team could have played much better. Now we go to Plymouth for the first time in my life – all good.
“I don’t know how many people live in Plymouth but it felt like the whole of Plymouth was in the 18-yard box.
“We needed to stay cool and patient. That is the biggest challenge in football when you are playing against a deep-lying defensive side.
“I made the decision to make changes and name a young side – that’s life.”
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