Jürgen Klopp on Athletic win, transfers and 'special' Dublin trip

Jürgen Klopp assessed Liverpool’s pre-season, discussed transfers and hailed the ‘special’ atmosphere in Dublin following Saturday’s friendly victory over Athletic Club.

The Reds won their final warm-up game for 2017-18 3-1 at the Aviva Stadium, with Roberto Firmino, Ben Woodburn and Dominic Solanke on the scoresheet.

Read on for a full transcript of Klopp’s post-match press conference...

On finishing the pre-season friendly programme with a win…

I said before the game that pre-season so far has been really good. We’ve played a lot of games and we didn’t lose one, we had two draws and lost on a penalty shootout to Atletico, but that’s a good sign. Performance-wise, most of the time good or even better. A few weaknesses we saw today. First half an hour, I’d say [we played] brilliant football and then we lost organisation and gave them two opportunities and changed the game a little bit. 

Then we had to run and I was not happy with these 15 minutes but on the other hand it’s very important that you have it, because perfection in pre-season is the biggest mistake you can make because it always leads to the wrong decisions. We know we have to be really concentrated to be really stable, and when we are stable we are a real threat and we can play really good football. You could see in the second half that we had a very young side and struggled a little bit in the beginning, but then opened our chest and played. It was nice to see, we looked smart, so I’m happy.

LFCTV GO: The win in Dublin in 90 seconds

On managing the extra workload with the return of European football this season…

We will see. Today we had…everybody knows about the injury of Adam Lallana, it’s a big blow, but this team deals with so many difficult situations and they will deal with this. Phil [Coutinho] had back problems yesterday and today so there was no reason for any risks, the same with Hendo. He was a little bit ill, so we said ‘OK, no risk today’. Daniel, of course, has a little muscle [problem], but the squad is big and I thought I saw today that a few boys really showed up. Yeah, we’ll manage it when we can manage it. We will rotate, that’s clear, that’s not my problem at the moment, I’ll prepare for the Watford game from tomorrow on and then the next game, and then the next game, and then I’ll think about how we can do this.

On Woodburn and giving youngsters a chance…

For a young player, in my team there will always be space, but it’s about the player. You saw in the first five or 10 minutes, Ben struggled. It’s been a hard pre-season for him, he’s still only 17, turns 18 in October, so we try to keep him out as much as possible because we have to treat him like a 17-year-old boy. He’s doing really well and everybody can see his skills, but he struggled in the beginning [today], then he changed the game with a nice goal and he was in the game and played really well. That’s how it is - young players have these ups and downs.

On transfers…

We’ve always said that until August 31 we’ll run through the world with open eyes, that’s clear, but it’s not us alone who decides about these things. It’s all about other clubs [too]. Our situation, I thought today and this pre-season brought us new players, if you want. Alberto Moreno is 100 per cent back, which is very nice after a really difficult year. Andrew Robertson shows all the skills he has, of course he still has to adapt to our way of playing but you can already see what a threat he can be offensively. That means Millie is free for midfield, so without being in the transfer market we have a new midfield player, which is nice. Dom Solanke…I think he’s already shown that he’s ready for some adult football. Ryan Kent, I’ve known him for one-and-a-half years and last year he developed unbelievably well and this pre-season is completely different to last pre-season, he’s completely showed up now. So, without paying too much money or the highest transfer fees we have additions in the squad. That’s good.

On the atmosphere in Dublin and saying thanks to the fans after the game…

We didn’t talk about it but I decided we would do it. I said it a few minutes ago, I was really touched by the atmosphere, to be honest. When we came to the stadium, when we drove through the city, when we arrived at the hotel already, that was really, really special today. I heard about it, that Dublin is quite an LFC city but now I know it and it’s completely different to feel it. I thought it makes absolute sense that we try to give a little bit back. When we left the hotel today for the game there were 500 people minimum, but if you give one autograph then it disappoints the 499 because we don’t have time, so that’s difficult. Today we tried to spread it a little bit. Hopefully we can make a lot of these fans happy, because they made us happy. Before the game it was outstanding, during the game it was outstanding, after the game it was special. So really, thank you Dublin, that was a really special experience.