A despondent Garry Monk believes that his side were made to pay for not taking their chances against a weakened Liverpool side on Tuesday night.
Leeds United fell 2-0 to the in-form Premier League side, with second half goals from Divock Origi and youngster Ben Woodburn, denying Monk's men a place in the EFL Cup semi final.
The Yorkshire club acquitted themselves well against superior opposition for large periods of the match, and and registered the same number of shots on target as Liverpool, but ultimately failed to trouble the scoreboard, with Kemar Roofe's crossbar-bound effort the closest for the visitors.
Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Monk praised his players' efforts, in spite of the result:
"We had the best chances in the game. All we needed was a bit more composure and better decision-making and we’d have had a couple of goals. I’m not going to criticise my team. They were magnificent.”
If you get more than 50% you cheated.https://t.co/Sbzo5NDcdT— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) November 27, 2016
The former Swansea boss conceded to feeling 'gutted', but remained hopeful that the result and performance could serve as a learning curve for his team.
“As a performance from a team that’s very young, this sets a marker. This is the type of mentality and spirit you have to have, along with the quality. Albeit we’re disappointed but we’ll look back in the next few days and realise we put on a very good performance" Monk stated.
“If we continue in this way then hopefully we can be successful and get to where we want to be. We want to make this type of fixture more regular and if we continue in this way, whether it happens this season or next season or whenever, these players can achieve that.
“It’s the ambition. It has to be the ambition of this club and this group are on the road there. We all want it right now, we’re going to fight for it right now, but we’ve made massive strides and nights like tonight will help.”
Leeds currently sit fifth in the Championship table and have won four of their last five in the division.