Ian McGuckin praises Hartlepool United's kids after FA Youth Cup 'rollercoaster' against Liverpool

Ian McGuckin with Steven Gerrard
Ian McGuckin with Steven Gerrard

Hartlepool United youth boss Ian McGuckin is hoping his side can appreciate the “learning curve” after their 5-1 defeat to Liverpool.

The Young Poolies exited the FA Youth Cup after their heavy defeat, but McGuckin is confident his kids can learn from their Reds loss.

Liverpool, managed by Steven Gerrard, put Hartlepool to the sword with a ruthless attacking display with saw Liam Millar net a hat-trick alongside strikes from Glen McAuley and Curtis Jones.

Millar’s first came with just two minutes on the clock and, while Pools did level through Jacob Owen only moments later, McGuckin knew his side couldn’t have got off to a worse start.

“It was a tough evening and we got off to the worst possible start,” he admitted.

“You do all your preparation and hope to get off to a good start, but ours was awful.

“You worry when a goal comes so quickly but to get back level so quickly was pleasing.

“You then hope you can get a foothold back in the game but it wasn’t to be.

“The first half was a bit of a rollercoaster and we did well to get back in it and then conceded again.

“It was tough night. A learning curve for the boys.”

Pools had already gone through four rounds of the competition to set up the tie with the Merseysiders, with McGuckin saying the plum draw was just rewards for his sides efforts in the earlier stages and presented a real opportunity.

“The players came through four tough ties to bring the likes of Liverpool here,” he said.

“This was an opportunity - one or two are disappointed they didn’t perform as well as they could.”