Carragher hails 'brave' Rodgers

Jamie Carragher has praised Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers for 'having the balls' to put faith in the club's crop of up-and-coming talent.

Veteran defender Carragher again saw at first hand the potential of some of the budding stars of the future during his side's 2-1 win at West Bromwich Albion in the Capital One Cup.

On-loan Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Sahin scored both goals, wiping out an early opener from Gabriel Tamas, as holder Liverpool retained its grip on the trophy and set up a home tie with Rodgers' former club Swansea city.

But others such as left winger Oussama Assaidi, who laid on the winner, caught the eye, while Jerome Sinclair became Liverpool's youngest player at 16 years and six days as a late substitute.

Carragher said: "We believe that we have good young players at Liverpool.

"But you can have the best kids and academy in the world, and if the manager isn't brave enough to play them, then it doesn't make any difference.

"You have to give the manager credit for having the balls to play them and for the lads to have the sort of character they showed as well at West Brom after going 1-0 down.

"It isn't just the ability they have, it's the character as well. It's not just against West Brom that they've showed that. It was last week as well in the Europa League (against Young Boys).

"He's giving players a chance and they have to grasp it. So far they're doing that."

Carragher acknowledges the challenge facing Rodgers who admitted he has only 12 fit senior players ahead of this weekend's Premier League clash at Norwich City.

He said: "It's difficult for the manager, we're in four competitions and the squad's a bit threadbare at moment.

"We missed out on a couple of players in the transfer window on the last day.

"We also have a few injuries as well, so it's difficult for the manager to juggle it all.

"I'm sure a lot of people looked at the team sheet at West Brom and thought it was going to be a difficult night for us.

"After the first 10 minutes maybe they were being proven right. But credit to the young players here."

Carragher acknowledges Liverpool's league form has to improve but he has faith in Rodgers to eventually revive its fortunes.

He said: "We're all very disappointed with the points total in the league but a lot of things have gone against us, like the sending off (of Jonjo Shelvey against Manchester United).

"The manager can't affect those type of things. We should have won a couple more games.

"But now we can see the benefit of the young lads coming into the team.

"Eventually the manager's way of working will come to fruition."