Positivity, Liverpool’s front three and Joe Gomez were among the topics discussed by Jürgen Klopp during Friday’s press conference at Melwood.
The boss addressed the media ahead of Monday’s trip to Selhurst Park to face a Crystal Palace team he expects to pose a considerable challenge to the Reds.
Here’s our round-up of key points from the manager’s briefing…
‘Again and again and again’
There is no chance of Klopp getting carried away with the buoyant mood around the club, which was intensified further following the resounding 4-0 win over West Ham United on the season’s opening weekend…
“Yes, the start was good but that’s already done, if you want. The feeling around the club is good [and] a big part of that are the performances and the results we got in the last few months. That’s what we have to do again and again and again.”
Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino scored a combined total of 91 goals between them last term - and, if the West Ham game is anything to go by, they’re out to do something similarly jaw-dropping this season, too.
Salah’s opener was followed by a Mane brace versus the Hammers, meaning Liverpool’s lethal attacking trio already have three goals between them in 2018-19.
Klopp, though, gets no sense that an amicable rivalry to be the Reds’ leading scorer is brewing…
“They don’t have a real competition, they don’t count the goals of the other guy or whatever - they like and enjoy playing together, that’s very good. I don’t think that they are really bothered in the moment about a specific number of goals, they only want to win football games.”
‘Never in doubt’
Klopp has always been certain of Gomez’s capability to play as a centre-back - a view reinforced by the 21-year-old’s impressive performance alongside Virgil van Dijk against West Ham…
“I was never in doubt about Joe and his ability to play at centre-half, but he needed time after a long injury… now he’s fit and he’s a very good football player, he can play the position good. Together with Virgil, they have a very good understanding - on a personal level as well, that’s really cool.”
Palace, Zaha and ‘real football’
Monday’s opponents received a boost earlier in the week when Wilfried Zaha signed a new long-term contract.
Klopp labelled that news ‘very important’ for the south London outfit, who he feels have improved greatly over the course of the last 12 months…
“I really think that with all the good results they had their confidence grew a lot in the last year. You could see that in the last period of the season, they were very consistent with results. Pre-season was good and now the first game was good. He [Zaha] scored but they played real football and I think three or four of their new players were not even in the squad or didn’t start.”