Jurgen Klopp praises Coutinho ahead of Newcastle clash

Premier League
Sunday 01 October 2017 - 4:30 pm
St James's Park
Newcastle1
1Liverpool
Show Match Events
29'Coutinho ⚽️
⚽️ Joselu36'
Perez55'
57'Gomez
Merino off, Hayden on ↔️73'
73'↔️ Sturridge off, Firmino on
73'↔️ Mane off, Solanke on
Joselu off, Gayle on ↔️79'
85'↔️ Salah off, Oxlade-Chamberlain on
Perez off, Diame on ↔️90'
Possession %
3268
Total Shots
817
Shots on Target
52
Shots Blocked
26
Offside
12
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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has delivered his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday's trip to Newcastle United.

The reds will face former boss Rafa Benitez, a man that Klopp is aware has a special place in supporters hearts.

I met Rafa once when he was manager of Liverpool.  We beat him 5-0 with Mainz - I hope he remembers that.  The rest is obviously history.

Actually we met 10/15 times in various different situations - he's a very interesting person.  I know he's connected, not just because he lives around be here, wishes this club all the best which is how it should be he after was here for all that time.

I know him better than most of my other colleagues - that is nice although not a big impact on the game.

He was asked in light of our recent missed chances what he had changed to improve things:

I can't make them more clinical.  The last step has to be taken by the players.  Like in life you have to keep on going.  We all know these boys will score - the difficult thing is to stay confident to try it again and again.

It makes no sense to criticise finishing - it's about creating, so we can create more often.  It's still my responsibility but I cannot shoot from the bench.

Klopp said that he was impressed with Newcastle in their last game - the Magpies are 2 points behind Liverpool and their form has improved in recent matches.

The media then asked if Liverpool were being unfairly criticised because both Manchester sides had started so well.

A few teams are flying does that mean we have to give up - go and get a season ticket for either Manchester stadium? No.

We are working hard.  It's not like we lost our football knowledge overnight.  We are not perfect so far but it's the past already.

Jurgen Klopp has been an outside link for the Bayern Munich job - Carlo Ancelotti was sacked yesterday.  He was asked about whether the sacking surprised him.

Not a lot of things surprise me in football anymore.  I saw the game against PSG - and individual quality can decide games.  But I think it was maybe not one game and more of a development which the Bayern bosses decided this.  But I don't know and it's not my problem.

Carlo is a very experienced manager and I'm sure he has not lost his football knowledge overnight.  Sometimes it just doesn't fit.

There are bigger problems in the world.

In the past few days the TV broadcaster Sky have been rumoured to be considering moving Liverpool's game away at Arsenal from the 23rd December to Christmas Eve evening - a move which could mean travelling supporters wouldn't return home until the early hours of Christmas Day.

If the supporters want to watch a game on Christmas Eve then the TV broadcasters will find a way to put one on.  In this case it would mean not only would we play the night of the 24th but Boxing Day.

I've always said that the broadcaster has to consider that the quality of their product depends on the quality of the players - the freshness of the players.  If we play Christmas Eve then we won't be fresh on Boxing Day.

If they really want to bring the supporters on to the street, all the people who work behind the scenes away from their families on Christmas Eve.  We (the staff and players) are used to playing at Christmas, but everyone else?

I can't imagine that anybody wants to watch football on that night.

The game against Spartak was the first time Coutinho, Mane, Firmino and Salah lined up together.

We have different options.  All four in the best moment are a big threat but they can't win anything without the other six on the pitch.

We had a lot of talk over the years that we haven't created enough chances against defensive teams.

That has changed.

But we have scored goals from more difficult situations than the ones we have missed so far.

He said it was 'Fantastic' that Ben Woodburn is in the Wales squad. 'He will have a really nice career for sure.  That's what we all think and not hope.  I'm happy for Wales that they have this opportunity to play him from the start or bring him on as a sub.'

On to team news for the trip to St James's Park

'No concerns, we had a few knocks in the game but no major concerns.'

 

Adam Lallana and Clyne are both slowly coming back.  Clyne looks to be ahead of schedule but they are both some way away from a return.  So far no setbacks.

And he was asked about Coutinho's reintegration into the side following the events in the summer.

'It's just good to have him.  There were a few ways and the club decided this way.  We are professionals and we take it like it is.  We had no real idea how he would be after the injury and the internationals and he came back in really good shape.

The team was happy when he was back.  We are not non-league football.  There are offers for different players and that's how it is - sometimes people think about it sometimes not.

He is here with 100% and that's really good.'

 

Newcastle v Liverpool is on Sunday at 4:30pm.

  • Mike the man

    Agree with Klopp. I’d be far more worried if we weren’t creating chances. We’re level with Spurs in 4th. We’re joint 3rd top scorers already in the league and some people are going crazy about it.

    Were we’ve let ourselves down is in defence – that’s what we should be concerned about – not the direction Salah heads in a cross.