Colin Pascoe Says Liverpool Prepares for Europa League Games as Thoroughly as Premier League Games

Colin Pascoe Says Liverpool Prepares for Europa League Games as Thoroughly as Premier League GamesAssistant manager Colin Pascoe sat down with Liverpoolfc.com at Melwood on Tuesday to dissect the weekend draw at Sunderland and look ahead to Liverpool's UEFA Europa League group-stage opener with Young Boys.

Anfield's No. 2 explained why there were many positives to take from the 1-1 stalemate at the Stadium of Light and insisted confidence remains high within the ranks.

Meanwhile, Pascoe also cast an eye towards our trip to Switzerland and confirmed the clash with Young Boys could present an opportunity for some of the club's younger players.

Liverpoolfc.com: Firstly, Colin, how do you reflect back upon Saturday's draw at Sunderland?

Pascoe: The way we passed the ball around early on put us in good stead, and towards the end of the game we were pushing to win it. Unfortunately we didn't we get three points.

Liverpoolfc.com: Was it a point gained or two dropped?

Pascoe: We got a point, but we were all disappointed we didn't get the win and the three points. The performance pleased us the most — game by game it is getting better and better. It was a good performance from the lads.

Liverpoolfc.com: The players kept going right until the end. What does that say about their mentality and what positives can be taken?

Pascoe: There are so many positives that can be taken from the game — the chances that we're creating says a lot about the team. We're producing good football and with the way the lads passed the ball around and created chances, we were just unfortunate [not to get the win].

Liverpoolfc.com: We're still waiting for that first league win, but you must feel it's close?

Pascoe: Yes we do. The lads are working harder on the training pitch at everything we do. We always go out to win games. Unfortunately we didn't on Saturday, but again we hit the bar with a fantastic shot from Glen [Johnson], and then Stevie [Gerrard] hit the post.

Liverpoolfc.com: We're currently 17th in the league — but it's too early to be looking at the table, isn't it?

Pascoe: Yes, it is. We don't look at the table — we're just looking at every game and how we perform. In every game, we've got better and better.

Liverpoolfc.com: Raheem Sterling again impressed on Saturday. He's really developing well, isn't he?

Pascoe: He is. He is only 17 and is a fantastic prospect. He's a great kid as well. He really wants to work hard to learn the game, and what he's producing now he's been working on since preseason. Everything he's tried to work on has come good so far.

Liverpoolfc.com: Is that work ethic what has impressed you most about Raheem so far?

Pascoe: Yes, it is. We all know about his dribbling skills and that he can take players on, but his work ethic is second to none.

Liverpoolfc.com: It's the start of the Europa League next. How much are you looking forward to participating in the competition?

Pascoe: Immensely. It's a big competition and we're all looking forward to the game on Thursday. It'll be a good game.

Liverpoolfc.com: Young Boys may not be a household name to many — what sort of test are you expecting in Switzerland?

Pascoe: It'll be a strong test. They're mid-table, they play 4-3-3 and it'll be a hard game out there. Any game away in Europe is always going to be hard.

Liverpoolfc.com: How do you and the team go about preparing for a game against a side like Young Boys? Obviously there isn't as much information available as there is for a Premier League team.

Pascoe: We do exactly the same thing. We have people producing reports on them, we'll look at what systems they play, what kind of players they have got, whether they'll be physical, and whether they pass the ball or go long. There are a lot of stats that people like Chris Davis [LFC head of opposition analysis] will put together ready for the manager and myself.

Liverpoolfc.com: So you'll head out there feeling well prepared?

Pascoe: Yeah, like every game — you always want to be as well prepared as you can be.

Liverpoolfc.com: Udinese and Anzhi Makhachkala are also in our group, how tough a group do you think this is?

Pascoe: It is a tough group and we've got to travel all around Europe — we'll go to Switzerland, Italy and Russia. There is a lot of traveling to take onboard, but we're going to be looking forward to it.

Liverpoolfc.com: Could Thursday be an opportunity for some of the younger members of the squad?

Pascoe: Yes, possibly. There are a lot of young lads pushing for places in Europe and it's a good opportunity to give them a chance.

Liverpoolfc.com: Brendan Rodgers has hinted Samed Yesil could come into contention. How impressed have you been with him so far?

Pascoe: Yeah, I have [been impressed]. He's only a young lad and there are a lot of young lads that are pushing [for first-team berths] and he has been very impressive.

Liverpoolfc.com: What are his main attributes?

Pascoe: He's got good movement, a great touch and he's got an eye for goal. He wants to score and he wants to get into the box. He's got pace and he's a good finisher.

Liverpoolfc.com: Finally, it's been a momentous week on Merseyside following the release of the Hillsborough Independent Panel's report. How touched have you been by recent events?

Pascoe: It was 23 years ago this tragedy happened and I've been touched by all the fans, and especially by events like last night with the whole city united by Everton and their fans making that tribute at their game. It's been very touching. The whole city has been together and united. They'll never be forgotten.

Liverpoolfc.com: It was a really special tribute from Everton.

Pascoe: It was, it was. The whole city has really come together and the emotion of it was very high.

Liverpoolfc.com: Football as a whole has really come together too, hasn't it? There have been various other tributes at other grounds.

Pascoe: Yes, it has. With everything that came out recently, everyone in football has been touched and shown their sympathies.

Photo via Liverpoolfc.com

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