In the second part of his pre-game press conference, Jurgen Klopp was asked about Liverpool’s current streak of 23 straight games, Ibrahima Konate’s quick summer impact and more.
The Reds greet Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday afternoon at Anfield Road, hoping to extend their matchless sequence – currently considered the club’s longest since 1989.
We have said it many times , we had to find solutions last year and maybe we didn’t get them all right, that’s how it is. When you’re pressed for time, you have to make up your mind a few days later and that sort of thing. I think the moment we started playing and trusting Rhys and Nat 100 percent, all other things came in that moment and we got stability back and were a lot more ourselves than before. We haven’t lost at all in the games since then, you know, at moments we needed luck or whatever, or a late goal or things like that. But in general we know that when we’re in great shape, when we’re difficult to play, we have a chance of winning the game – and that’s what we try. Of course we didn’t all win – we made a lot of draws – but most of the draws were probably closer to winning than we could have lost the game, that just shows.
But we feel really responsible for the performance , I can tell you, and so do the guys. It’s not that we somehow want to get through a game. We want to be the best version of ourselves in these games and we try to do that all the time. It doesn’t always work, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try again before the next one. This is exactly what will happen again on Saturday and there is no guarantee that you will get any results then. But for me it’s still the only chance to get the result and that’s what we’re trying to do. But we also tried before the away game at Real Madrid – it just didn’t work out that well, probably because of a bad decision on my part.
Whether he had any doubts that this team would “rise again” after last season without making massive changes …
No, I didn’t doubt it – but I didn’t really think about it. You’re going back to the transfer business now or whatever, it’s always a mix of what you want, what you can get, stuff like that. But last year it was always clear – honestly, you just all forgot – how big the difference is when you pretty much lose your entire defense in October, that’s about it now I guess. From then on we had to go back with injuries, with the Champions League, with all the cup competitions and so on. This is really a big problem, but everyone expects you to still win all games. ‘You’re still Liverpool. Come on, a few injuries, everyone has a few injuries ”- but not in one position. That was our problem. So when we solved the problem, it was clear that we would get better – and that’s the way it is now. That doesn’t mean we’re going to win because there is some kind of competition, but it does give us a chance and we never needed more. I think in life it is very important to keep calm when everyone is really excited and that is what we try – to make the right decision in those moments. We’re happy with our squad, but we’re having a lot of problems at the moment. Midfielders out, we had eight midfielders at the start of the season – it’s about four now, so it’s not too cool. But there are always problems, we just have to try to sort them out.
I don’t know of any solution for such problems that can be bought in the transfer window, they say, ‘Okay, four or five more players and you will have the problem never have again. ‘ But you can never have that atmosphere in the squad, which is much more important. Winning something with a 40-player squad is simply not possible because we have to keep the players happy – I’m not sure that’s the right line to say – but the players need to see that they have a chance to get in the team to come when they perform at the highest level. With 40 players, of course, that’s not the case – and that’s probably the only solution to injury crises when you have that many players, so we can’t sort that out. That means you have to take what you get, you use what you get or get, and then play the best football possible.
Yes, he does, but has never done it. But that’s what he wants, that’s right. Resting players against Brighton would be a crime. Brighton is way too good. They got off to a brilliant start. Yes, the latest results may not have been quite what they wanted them to be, but it’s a really special game in the league. It’s a really special game. If you haven’t seen it before, check out the City game again and you will immediately understand what I am talking about. None of them [the players want to be rested]. And if then, always in other games – so it’s never the game I choose when I’m resting someone! For the player, it’s never the game they want to rest in.
Ibou is obviously an incredible talent. So he came to Germany very young and it’s a difficult league for a young central defender. He did incredibly well there. He came to England and when you see him he’s built for the Premier League. Physically he’s a machine, has the speed we need, likes challenges, has a really good knowledge of football, recognizes situations early on, all these things. So it’s a package, a really good package. But like I said, we honestly have some really good center-backs now, so we just have to make sure we use them at the right moments. No i am not surprised. You never know how long it will take, but he’s a really good boy, right here in the group and that obviously didn’t just help the French. He speaks English really well, which was a bit of a surprise to a French who was in Germany. But his English is really good, which also helped him with the group. So far, it’s good.
Until we probably see him at his best. Because he needs training now and hopefully can simply train from now on. But we have three games in between, so I wouldn’t rule him out for the next few games if he trains normally. Then it’s like, ‘Is he ready to get minutes?’ Maybe I’m coming down now or wherever, sports science tells me that yesterday everything looked like he could have done 460 minutes, and then I say, ‘OK, let’s see if we can get him for tomorrow a few minutes. ‘ I don’t expect that. The plan is that he now really has a block of a few days with proper training on the pitch with the ball and with the team plus extra training. So it’s Wednesday, then Sunday, but after the international break I expect him to be 100 percent back. But he wants to go back sooner – we have to see if that is possible.