Jürgen Klopp is confident an effective balance is being struck between coaching time at Melwood and the turnover of matches as Liverpool look to kick off December by reaching the Capital One Cup semi-finals.
The German takes his side to St Mary’s to face Southampton in the last eight of the competition on Wednesday evening – the first of seven matches for the Reds before 2015 draws to a close.
A fixture schedule incorporating Barclays Premier League, Europa League and Capital One Cup commitments has restricted the time available to Klopp for working with the squad in training since he took charge two months ago.
It’s not a situation that concerns the manager, though, and that will be reflected in the way his team approaches the task of extending their recent encouraging form when they tackle the Saints.
“Nobody should be in doubt about our ambition in this tournament,” Klopp said at his pre-match press conference, where he confirmed intentions to select the strongest Liverpool side possible.
“We have an away game so of course we are not the favourite – we only have to be a real competitor and a real challenge for Southampton. At the end we will see what happens.
“I’ve met nobody who said ‘come on, go out of the Capital One Cup early enough then you have a little bit more time to train’. Our situation is we are in all competitions and that’s what we usually really enjoy.
“Two days or one day before a game, we have to solve some problems. From the moment you have your decisions you can start thinking about the game and the gameplan. But it always depends on the players you can bring.”
The home clash with Swansea City last weekend was the 10th game overseen by Klopp since he was appointed Reds manager in October.
A 1-0 victory over the Welsh outfit was his sixth success so far, with three draws and just a single defeat – the Anfield reversal against Crystal Palace, which the boss admitted still frustrates him.
And he still sees plenty of room for improvement as time passes and opportunity allows more wisdom and advice to be shared with the players at Melwood.
Klopp told reporters: “I know the most important time in the season is the pre-season. I came in October – no time for pre-season. It’s OK.
“I think we have done not too bad until now. I only think about this because you ask me things like this; I’m not in my office thinking ‘too many games’.
“We give as much information as we could and as we should. If I said every day all the things I know, it’s too much for sure. It’s about timing and the right amount of information.
“It’s very important, of course, because we don’t want them to have to take papers onto the pitch. It’s football and we have to play football – in the word ‘playing’ is everything you need.
“For this moment, it’s OK. Maybe we could have talked better but we’ll never know. For this moment it’s OK. We go on. We are not even halfway through the season in our development.
“We all think we have a long time together. We always have to take the next step. Until now, it was OK.
“We have a meeting in the afternoon to give the right information – a mixture of analysing the Swansea game and preparing the Southampton game. What we can use for both is in one meeting. So it’s not too much, it’s the right way in this moment.”