Klopp Threatens To Withdraw Liverpool Players From World Cup Qualifiers

Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp reacts during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Brighton and Hove Albion at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on February 3, 2021. Clive Brunskill / POOL / AFP

 

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has threatened to withdraw players from international matches this month if there is a chance they will have to quarantine on their return under coronavirus rules.

Arrivals in Britain from “Red List” countries are subject to 10 days’ hotel confinement, which would apply to Brazilian trio Alisson Becker, Roberto Firmino and Fabinho and Portugal forward Diogo Jota.

World governing body FIFA has given clubs dispensation to prevent players who may be affected by the regulations from joining up with their countries for the matches, which include World Cup qualifiers.

And Klopp fully intends to apply it, saying: “I think all the clubs agree that with the same problems we cannot just let the boys go and then sort the situation when they come back by placing our players in a 10-day quarantine in a hotel, it is just not possible.

“I understand the needs of the different FAs (football associations) but this is a time where we cannot make everyone happy and we have to admit the players are paid by the clubs so it means we have to be first priority.”

READ ALSO: Arsenal Boss Arteta Dismisses Barcelona Speculation

Alisson is set to return to the side for the visit of Chelsea on Thursday after missing the win at Sheffield United as he was mourning the death of his father in a swimming accident in Brazil.

Sixth-placed Liverpool, who are one point behind Chelsea in the race for top-four spots, have not won at home since mid-December as their title defence has collapsed.

Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on February 7, 2021. Manchester City won the game 4-1. Jon Super / POOL / AFP

 

Klopp, speaking at his pre-match press conference on Wednesday, said Chelsea, still unbeaten under new boss Thomas Tuchel, would be tough to beat.

“It is quite difficult to get more possession than Chelsea,” he said. “You have to defend, work a lot, you have to be patient in moments and show your desire to defend all the time because they are a top team.”

But he said he was focused on the challenge of finishing in the top four, which would mean qualification for next season’s Champions League.

Liverpool are two points behind fourth-placed West Ham after beating Sheffield United.

“A week ago we were out now we’re around it again,” said Klopp. “The challenge and job is clear. We have to win games and as many as possible to make it. We know that.”

AFP

Liverpool Coach Klopp Concedes Title Hopes Are Over After Leicester Loss

File photo: Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp addresses a press conference on the eve of the UEFA Champions League, last 16, second leg football match Bayern Munich v Liverpool in Munich, southern Germany, on March 13, 2019. Christof STACHE / AFP

 

Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp has admitted the team’s title hopes are over after the Reds slumped 3-1 to Leicester in a Premier League clash on Saturday, their third consecutive loss.

Jurgen Klopp’s men could find themselves down in sixth by the time Chelsea and West Ham play winnable home games on Monday night.

“I don’t think we can close that gap this year, to be honest. We have to win football games and big parts of our football was today again really, really good. We have to do it consistently,” the German said after the match as posted on the club’s website.

“We have to avoid mistakes, we have to avoid misunderstandings. We cannot avoid mistakes of VAR or stuff like this, but all the rest that is in our hands we have to avoid.

“Today, in two situations we didn’t do that and that’s why they could score two goals. The rest of the football game is really good. Yes, if you win football games maybe you could score today more goals, but that’s the steps you have to make.

“First, you have to perform again; the result is always massively related to the performance. And we were today good enough to win the game for a long, long period in the game, but not until the end because of a couple of things.”

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The visitors felt Daniel Amartey should have been ruled offside for obstructing Alisson’s view, but a VAR review deemed the Ghanaian to be onside.

Alisson should have done better, in any case, to deal with Maddison’s shot and less than two minutes later he handed Leicester a second.

A long ball over the top should have been comfortably dealt with, but the onrushing goalkeeper got in Kabak’s way and the defender’s rushed clearance allowed Vardy to run the ball into an empty net.

Klopp Blames COVID-19 Crisis For Lack Of Transfer Funds At Liverpool

Klopp Apologises For Wild Celebrations After 'Weird' Liverpool Winner
Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Liverpool are unlikely to bolster their injury-hit defence this month due to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, manager Jurgen Klopp revealed on Thursday.

The English champions are expected to be without Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez for the rest of the season, while Joel Matip is also currently sidelined leaving Klopp without a senior recognised centre-back.

Midfielder Fabinho has deputised in central defence for most the season, while youngsters Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips have had to be drafted in.

Despite the closure of stadiums to fans due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Reds spent a reported £70 million in the summer transfer window on Konstantinos Tsimikas, Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota, all of whom have also had spells out due to injury.

“I cannot say definitely we will not do it, it’s just not likely because of the situation in the world,” said Klopp ahead of his side’s trip to Aston Villa in the FA Cup on Friday. “It’s not the best situation for the whole planet, so why should it be for a football club.”

The German led Liverpool to winning the Champions League in 2018/19 and followed that up with the club’s first league title for 30 years in 2020.

However, the financial springboard expected from that success has not materialised with the growing possibility of a full season with supporters through the gates.

“This club, with these owners, will always be very responsible with the things we do,” added Klopp.

“If the world would be a normal place, everything would be fine, we won the league, won the Champions League, the club is in the best possible situation, then you have three senior centre-halves all injured – is that a situation where usually we would do something?

“Yes, definitely, but we are not in that situation so I don’t know if something will happen or not.

“We have to deal with the situation like we did it so far and we have to get through this.”

Liverpool still top the Premier League, but the injury toll has shown in recent weeks as they have failed to win in three league games for the first time since 2018 to see their advantage at the top of the table whittled away.

Manchester United are level on points with Klopp’s men and have a game in hand to come at Burnley on Tuesday before the top two face off at Anfield on January 17.

Liverpool Set New Club Record, Extend Unbeaten Home Run To 64 Matches

Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder Roberto Firmino celebrates after scoring a goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Leicester City at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on November 22, 2020. Laurence Griffiths / POOL / AFP
Liverpool’s Brazilian midfielder Roberto Firmino celebrates after scoring a goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Leicester City at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on November 22, 2020. Laurence Griffiths / POOL / AFP

 

 

Liverpool shrugged off an injury crisis to move level on points with Tottenham at the top of the Premier League with a 3-0 win over Leicester to set a new club record of 64 unbeaten league games at Anfield.

The champions were without the injured Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson, Thiago Alcantara, Xherdan Shaqiri and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, while top scorer Mohamed Salah was absent due to a positive coronavirus test.

READ ALSO: Arsenal’s Barren Draw With Leeds Takes Arteta’s Team To 11th On The Table

Yet, Jurgen Klopp’s men were still imperious in easing past a Leicester side that had started the weekend on top of the table.

The Foxes did not do themselves any favours when Jonny Evans turned James Milner’s corner into his own net to reward Liverpool’s bright start.

Diogo Jota then became the first ever Liverpool player to score in his first four home league games with a downward header from Andy Robertson’s cross.

File photo: Liverpool’s Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara (C) warms up before the English Premier League football match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on October 17, 2020. (Photo by Catherine Ivill / POOL / AFP).

 

Only a combination of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and the woodwork kept Liverpool from a repeat of the 4-0 thrashing they dished out to Leicester when the sides last met in December.

READ ALSO: Tottenham Show Title Credentials Against Toothless Man City

But Robert Firmino then rounded off a fine night for the champions with a towering header from another Milner corner six minutes from time.

“Playing them like that tonight, I do not take for granted,” said Klopp. “The boys were on fire.”

AFP

‘I Found It Amusing’: Lampard Laughs Off Klopp’s Chelsea Spending Jibe

File photo: Chelsea’s English head coach Frank Lampard gestures during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge in London on December 14, 2019. OLLY GREENWOOD / AFP

 

Chelsea coach Frank Lampard says he is amused rather than annoyed by Jurgen Klopp’s criticism of his summer spending, pointing out that Liverpool splashed the cash on the road to Premier League glory.

Lampard has invested around £200 million ($257 million) on Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell, with Thiago Silva arriving on a free transfer and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy reportedly set to join from Rennes.

By contrast, Klopp has added only Greece left-back Kostas Tsimikas to his league-winning squad so far.

 

File photo: Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp addresses a press conference on the eve of the UEFA Champions League, last 16, second leg football match Bayern Munich v Liverpool in Munich, southern Germany, on March 13, 2019. Christof STACHE / AFP

 

Lampard, whose side begin their campaign away at Brighton on Monday, said any owner needed huge resources to compete in the Premier League.

“I was less annoyed with it, I found it more, slightly amusing, I would say,” he said, referring to Klopp’s comments.

“Because I think when you talk about the owners of clubs I don’t think it matters what line of business they come from, we’re talking about some very wealthy owners of clubs in the Premier League.”

– Chelsea ban –

Lampard, who last season warned Liverpool not to get “too arrogant” after they won the title, said the champions’ owners, Fenway Sports Group, had spent a lot of money since Klopp had been in charge.

“Liverpool’s story, it’s a fantastic story of a club over four-and-a-half, five years that Jurgen Klopp’s been there that have managed to get recruitment right to a really high level,” said the Chelsea boss.

“And the reality is probably, other than maybe Leicester (champions in 2016), which is an incredible story, most clubs that win the Premier League in the modern day have recruited well and recruited at a high level money-wise.

“And you can go through the Liverpool players: Van Dijk, Alisson, Fabinho, Keita, Mane, Salah, incredible players, that came at a very high price.”

Lampard, who guided Chelsea to fourth place and the FA Cup final in his first season in charge, said his spending should be put into context, given that when he replaced Maurizio Sarri the club was under a transfer ban.

“So Liverpool have done it, and they’ve done it over a period of time,” said Lampard.

“What we’ve done is come off the back of a ban, probably tried to address the situation ourselves to help improve us.

“So I think it’s par for the course, and I think we all know that there’s no point in doing the maths too much because I think we know that Liverpool have spent at a high level, we know they have an incredible coach, we know they have incredible players.”

Lampard said he hoped he could do as Klopp had done and repay the faith of owner Roman Abramovich by delivering results.

“The really smart thing Liverpool have done I think is believe in their coach, believe in their system for a number of years,” he said.

“So it’s a great story, but it’s a story that has seen money spent on players. And this summer we’ve spent money on players, and now the hard work has to be done.”

AFP

Liverpool Coach Klopp Wins LMA Manager Of The Year Award

Klopp led Liverpool to their first EPL title in 30 years. Photo: [email protected]_Managers

 

Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp has been voted as the League Managers Association (LMA) Manager of the Year for 2020. 

Klopp led Liverpool to winning their first Premier League title in 30 years, a year after the side claimed the UEFA Champions League trophy.

The Reds won the domestic title after garnering 99 points which left them 18 points clear from second-placed Manchester City.

 

Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp (L) and Liverpool’s English midfielder Adam Lallana (R) pose with the Premier League trophy during the presentation following the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on July 22, 2020. Liverpool on Wednesday lifted the Premier League trophy at the famous Kop stand at Anfield after their final home game of the season. PHIL NOBLE / POOL / AFP

 

While presenting the award to Klopp, former United manager, Alex Ferguson whom the award was named after, praised the German gaffer for doing a “fantastic job” with the Reds.

 

 

 

“Congratulations Jürgen! You have done an absolutely fantastic job. You thoroughly deserve to be named LMA Manager of the Year 2019/2020,” a statement on the LMA website quoted Ferguson as saying.

“Your personality runs right through the whole of your club and the performance level of you and your team has been outstanding.”

Speaking after scooping the prize, the Liverpool coach expressed delight at the development, saying it makes him feel “extra special.”

“I’m absolutely delighted to be named the winner of the League Managers Association manager of the year award, for this wonderful Sir Alex Ferguson trophy, named after a man that I admire so much,” said Klopp.

“It feels extra special to win this award because it is voted for by my fellow managers.”

There were also other winners including prizes for the EFL Manager of the Year as well as Emma Hayes and Gemma Davies.

“We also congratulate David Artell, Mark Robins and Marcelo Bielsa who were duly recognised as the Managers of the Year by their fellow managers in their respective Sky Bet EFL Leagues, and we are delighted to recognise Emma Hayes and Gemma Davies, worthy winners in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and The FA Women’s Championship respectively,” the LMA also added.

LMA Award Winners 2019/2020

The following are the winners of the 2019/2020 award:

The Sir Alex Ferguson trophy for the LMA Manager of the Year:
Jürgen Klopp (Liverpool)

Barclays FA Women’s Super League Manager of the Year:
Emma Hayes MBE (Chelsea)

The FA Women’s Championship Manager of the Year:
Gemma Davies (Aston Villa)

Sky Bet Championship Manager of the Year:
Marcelo Bielsa (Leeds United)

Sky Bet League One Manager of the Year:
Mark Robins (Coventry City)

Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Year:
David Artell (Crewe Alexandra)

Klopp Charges Liverpool Players To End Losing Streak

Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp 
Anthony Devlin / AFP

 

Jurgen Klopp has urged Liverpool to “fight” as the runaway Premier League leaders battle to end their mini-slump against relegation-threatened Bournemouth on Saturday.

Liverpool have lost three of their past four matches in all competitions but remain 22 points clear of Manchester City at the top of the league table.

Tuesday’s FA Cup defeat at the hands of Chelsea followed a shock Premier League loss against Watford last week.

In February they lost 1-0 to Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.

The 3-0 defeat at Watford brought an abrupt end to a run of 18 straight victories in the Premier League but they need just four more wins to guarantee winning the title for the first time in 30 years.

Klopp said his team’s approach would not change despite their rocky run.

“Of course winning gives you confidence, losing costs you confidence, that’s completely normal,” the Liverpool boss told his pre-match press conference on Friday.

“You start thinking about different things. It’s a long while ago (since a bad spell) but one defeat feels like two defeats — it’s not a massive difference.

“It’s how you get back on track immediately and you can do that not by hoping that things are now clicking even better than the game before so we have just to work really hard. We have to fight back on track.”

– Liverpool momentum –
Klopp said rediscovering momentum was important ahead of the second leg of the Champions League tie against Atletico next week and he expects a strong response against Bournemouth.

“In a lot of moments we could have done better,” he said, referring to recent matches.

“We know that 100 percent and that’s what we are working on but we don’t take it for granted from now on that we will not score any more and they will score with each chance that they have. That’s not like it is.

“We know if we perform at our highest level, and there’s nothing else we want to do tomorrow, it will be difficult for Bournemouth. We should not forget that.”

Klopp was also asked about the latest measures being taken to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, which has infected nearly 100,000 people across the world and killed more than 3,300.

The Premier League has banned pre-match handshakes and Liverpool have said they will not use child mascots.

“Nothing has changed here really apart from why should you give a handshake in times when it’s not the right thing to do? So it’s not that difficult to change that,” said Klopp. “Apart from that we have to do the normal stuff.”

Goalkeeper Alisson Becker has been ruled out of the Bournemouth match after suffering a muscle injury ahead of the midweek FA Cup tie at Chelsea.

‘Welcome To Anfield’, Klopp Warns Atletico

 

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp expects a very different atmosphere at Anfield will help turn his side’s Champions League last 16 tie with Atletico Madrid around after a 1-0 first leg defeat in the Spanish capital on Tuesday.

Saul Niguez’s early strike inflicted just Liverpool’s second defeat of the season in all competitions with a senior team.

The holders were frustrated by the hosts’ playacting and Polish referee Szymon Marciniak’s performance as Atletico boss Diego Simeone whipped the Wanda Metropolitano crowd into a frenzy.

“Wow, that’s energy!” Klopp told BT Sport when asked about Simeone’s touchline antics.

“I don’t think I have to do that much to be honest (in the second leg), I hope I can be focused a little bit more on the game.

“Our people will be ready. Welcome to Anfield! It’s not over yet.”

Klopp replaced Sadio Mane at half-time with the Senegalese at risk of being sent-off as Atletico players surrounded Marciniak demanding a second yellow card for the African player of the year just before the break.

“He was targeted that was clear,” added Klopp.

“Sadio played a really good first half and they only thing they wanted is to make sure he gets a yellow card.

“For me we didn’t lose, it’s only half-time, the score is 1-0 that’s all. But you need to be really strong as a ref in this atmosphere, that was obviously not easy.”

The visitors were also riled by the celebrations of Simeone and some of his players at full-time after they secured a victory that could kickstart at faltering season.

“They’ve celebrated as if they’ve won the tie after the game, so let’s see,” said left-back Andy Robertson.

“We’ve got a couple of weeks, Premier League business to take care of, and then we’re coming back to Anfield.

“We know our fans will be there, we’ll be there, so it’s up to them to come as well.”

Klopp Lauds ‘Incredible’ Adrian’s Flying Start To Liverpool Career

Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp celebrates winning the UEFA Super Cup 2019. OZAN KOSE / AFP

 

 

Jurgen Klopp hailed “incredible” UEFA Super Cup hero Adrian and then admitted he had no idea where the goalkeeper even was a fortnight ago.

The Spaniard, only in the side because of an injury to number one goalkeeper Allison Becker, saved Tammy Abraham’s penalty to give Liverpool a 5-4 shootout win against Chelsea after the showdown between Champions League and Europa League winners had finished 2-2 in Istanbul on Wednesday.

The 32-year-old former Betis shot-stopper joined Liverpool on a free transfer to replace the departed Simon Mignolet on August 5, the day after Klopp’s team lost on penalties to Manchester City in the Community Shield.

Released by West Ham United, he was thrust into the spotlight when he had to replace the injured Alisson in the first half of the Premier League opening 4-1 win against Norwich on Friday.

“I don’t know where Adrian was two weeks ago when we played Man City,” said Klopp after seeing his European champions win the Super Cup for the fourth time.

“When I spoke to him for the first time it was clear he would need time to get fit, but we didn’t have that time so he has to be fit now, and he was fit, he played an incredible game, he made sensational saves.”

Adrian made notable interventions during the game, diving at the feet of Mateo Kovacic in the first half and batting away a Mason Mount strike late in extra time.

‘Icing on the cake’

However, he also fouled Abraham to give away the 101st-minute penalty which Jorginho scored to make it 2-2 after Sadio Mane’s 95th-minute second goal had seemed to have put the Merseysiders on course for an extra-time victory.

“In penalty shootouts you’re always lucky but his performance over 120 minutes was incredible, making the save from the penalty was the icing on the cake,” said Klopp.

“He helped us a lot and he can be really proud of what he did tonight,” added the German manager, who described Adrian as “a proper personality in the dressing room”.

Adrian had once been a regular for West Ham but did not play in the Premier League last season and his last appearance before arriving at Anfield had been an FA Cup defeat by third-tier AFC Wimbledon in January.

“Welcome to Liverpool! It was a crazy week, but with them it’s so easy playing at the back, so I am really happy for the team, happy to get that trophy, that title,” Adrian told BT Sport.

Klopp was also effusive in his praise of the all-female refereeing team, headed by France’s Stephanie Frappart, even if he was not happy with the penalty awarded to Chelsea in extra time.

“I told the ref team that if we had played like they whistled we would have won 6-0, that was my opinion, that they played a brilliant game.”

AFP

Klopp ‘Surprised’ That Liverpool Have Stayed With City

Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp watches his players warm up for the English Premier League football match / AFP

 

Jurgen Klopp admitted his pleasant surprise at how hard Liverpool have pushed Manchester City in the race for the Premier League title, stating that this season is a stepping stone for even better things to come from his side.

Liverpool, chasing their first top-flight title since 1990, have lost just once in the league all season but still trail Pep Guardiola’s defending champions by a point with three games remaining.

Klopp, whose side host Huddersfield on Friday, told reporters at his pre-match press conference that he was calm while watching City’s 2-0 victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

“It was the result I expected,” said the German.

“United tried whatever they can, in the first half especially, they were a bit unlucky in one or two moments but then over the 95 minutes it was clear that they can’t stand City at the moment so I was not surprised by the result.”

READ ALSO: Premier League Run-In: Who Do City And Liverpool Have Left To Play?

Klopp said he agreed with Guardiola that both teams deserved to win the Premier League but that there could be just one champion.

“One of us, it’s like with the Highlander, will be there at the end,” said a buoyant Klopp, referring to the famous phrase from the film — “There can be only one”.

“But we don’t only play for being champions at the end of the season. Yes, it’s a main, a big target. This team tries it for the first time and we are obviously pretty close in the moment and we still have a chance to do it. We will see what happens until the end of the season.

“But it’s the first time not the last time. That’s how it is and only because the club is waiting for a long time, the people are waiting, that doesn’t make it more likely.

“That we are that close is already I would say rather surprising because last year we were 25 points behind. That doesn’t look like that will happen this year again so that’s really, really good.”

Klopp said winning was not the be all and end all for his team, despite their long title drought.

“We want to play the best football we can play every single day, that’s the truth,” he said. “Sometimes we have to accept it didn’t happen but we still try it and that’s all what we are interested in and at the end of the season you see where you end up.”

“If we do it we will do it,” he added. “If we will not do it there are no regrets as long as we give always our best. I saw that the whole season from the boys but still the season, however it ends up, is only the first step in that area. We are not the finished article.”

Beware Of Everton Threat, Klopp Warns Liverpool Players

Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp

 

Jurgen Klopp has warned Liverpool that in-form Everton are capable of ending the Reds’ 19-year unbeaten record in Merseyside derbies at Anfield.

Not since Kevin Campbell fired Everton to a 1-0 win in September 1999 have Everton made a successful trip to the home of their hated neighbours across Stanley Park.

Liverpool are also unbeaten in the last 17 Merseyside derbies at any venue — a record run for that fixture dating back to 2010.

But Reds boss Klopp insists in-form Everton have been revitalised under new boss Marco Silva and pose a genuine threat to Liverpool’s derby supremacy.

“He has the best squad. They brought in players he wanted. Richarlison, what a player he is, last year already (Theo) Walcott came in, this year Bernard came in, (Andre) Gomes, (Yerry) Mina,” Klopp told reporters on Friday

“Since I’ve been at Liverpool, Everton was always really busy but now it’s the best-tuned squad.

“One or two years ago (Wayne) Rooney came back, (Gylfi) Sigurdsson came, they said they could not play because of lack of speed, but everything is there.

“The development and improvement is obvious. Analyse Everton and tell me it will be an easy game, tell me their weaknesses: they defend really good, have good players in all positions.

“It will not be the easiest game in the world but no-one expects that in a derby and we shouldn’t do that this time so we will not.”

The last three Everton managers to visit Anfield in the Premier League – Roberto Martinez, Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce – left with, respectively, a 4-0 defeat, a 3-1 defeat and a 1-1 draw.

However, significant investment and a change in playing style introduced by Silva have seen the Toffees move up to sixth in the table.

Suitably impressed, Klopp down-played Liverpool’s derby dominance, saying: “If you wouldn’t say that I wouldn’t even think about it. How can I know what people make of that? I’m a not bit interested.

“You cannot make anything with these results in the past. It is good that we won these games or got results from these games, the most exciting one was the late winner of Sadio (Mane) at Everton – that felt unbelievable.

“There were good games we played at home to Everton but we have to make sure as a club we create an atmosphere so exceptional it will make it a little bit easier for the players to come into it 100 per cent in a fighting mood.”

Klopp will be without suspended captain Jordan Henderson for the game and has challenged the rest of the squad to step up after their painful midweek Champions League defeat at Paris Saint Germain.

“Are they ready? We will see. We have to prove it,” he said.

“If I were to say now ‘We have a real problem, I don’t have enough time to make them ready for a derby’ what kind of idiot would I be?”

AFP

New Mane Deal Shows Liverpool Progress, Says Klopp

File photo of Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp 

Jurgen Klopp believes Sadio Mane’s new contract is a “statement” on Liverpool’s progress and dismissed reports that summer signing Fabinho could leave the club as “crazy”.

Senegal forward Mane signed a long-term extension on Thursday and his commitment to the Reds has delighted his manager, whose side are second in the Premier League, just two points behind Manchester City.

“It’s a big sign. To extend a contract is more than a signing, it is a statement,” Klopp said ahead of Liverpool’s visit to Watford on Saturday.

“It shows a bit of change the club did in the last few years. A few years ago players felt they had to leave the club to make the next step.”

Klopp also reiterated his satisfaction with the starts made by Fabinho and Naby Keita at Liverpool as he outlined the long-term thinking for both midfielders.

Brazil international Fabinho started four of the last five Liverpool games before the international break and the Reds boss emphatically rejected speculation the midfielder could leave at his pre-Watford press conference.

“Of course he will not leave. I don’t talk about transfers but if you want to ask, nobody leaves here,” said Klopp.

That would be completely crazy — he doesn’t want to, it’s only the crazy world out there that people if they don’t play in the last five games, immediately open kind of a transfer market. We are not involved in that.”

Keita returned to Liverpool action after a hamstring injury as a late substitute in the 2-0 home win against Fulham.

“We have this wonderful player in our squad and we will use him, now, short-term, long-term, future, we will use him,” said Klopp. “He is here exactly in the right place.”

Klopp said Daniel Sturridge is in contention for Saturday after his Football Association misconduct charge for breaching betting rules.

The Liverpool boss said: “Obviously I know about the case, but you don’t see any influence on Daniel in training.

“He’s completely normal, looks sharp, looks focused. Of course, it’s not something you want but as long as he trains well he is 100 percent in contention.”

Skipper Jordan Henderson is set to be available for the match after suffering a knock on international duty.

AFP