Bantams on their guard against Liverpool’s youngsters

That’s the pre-match guarantee from Graham Alexander ahead of the Valley Parade round-of-32 tie in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy.

Liverpool had the worst qualifying record of all the teams to make it into the knock-out stages after losing two of their three group games.

The young Reds won 3-0 at Morecambe in their competition opener but were they beaten 5-2 by group toppers Blackpool and 2-1 at Barrow.

Liverpool managed to sneak through in second spot on goal difference – but Alexander insists that will not be discussed in the dressing room.

“There’s no such thing as a bad professional footballer,” said the City chief.

“Players have overcome a lot of hurdles to make it as a professional and you’re talking about the size of that club and the quality they bring through.

“We have to make sure we’re at it. We will not be looking at their previous results.

“We’ll be looking at how they set up and the individuals but their results are completely irrelevant to us.

“We have to be consistent in our messages to the players in our preparation and approach. There’s no difference to the way we prepare for any other game.

“I don’t differentiate between the competitions or opponents.”

Polish midfielder or forward Mateusz Musialowski will be one to watch after scoring in each of Liverpool’s group games.

And there is likely to be one very familiar figure in the opposition engine room in the shape of the hugely-experienced Jay Spearing.

The 35-year-old academy coach has been featuring as their permitted overage player.

Spearing is a well-known foe at Valley Parade from his days with Tranmere, Bolton and Blackpool.

He works alongside former Bantams midfielder Marc Bridge-Wilkinson with Liverpool under-18s but is still keen to play whenever possible.

“Any time I can get out on the pitch, get my boots back on and help the boys out, it’s an absolute pleasure and it’s good fun,” he told Liverpool’s club website.

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