Jürgen Klopp explained why the intensity involved in Liverpool's nine-day USA tour was necessary for the demands of the season ahead.

The Reds’ pre-season trip to America concluded on Wednesday night with a 2-2 draw against Sporting CP in the Western Union Cup.

Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum were on target for Klopp’s side at Yankee Stadium, which followed fixtures amid significant heat in Indiana and Boston.

Read a summary of the manager’s post-match press conference below…

On his assessment of the players throughout the tour…

It was an intense time, an intense week, three games in a pretty short period after a couple of days’ training in Liverpool for the boys who were in from the first day, it was absolutely OK; for the others it was maybe a bit too much, but we had to do it anyway for different reasons. So, all good. It was nice to meet all the people who are obviously with us. Tonight it was an outstanding atmosphere, we were stuck a bit in traffic [travelling to the stadium] and I think probably all the people as well who decided to come here. And to show up in the kind [of way] they showed up was nice. That’s really good.

From a sports point of view I’m happy to go back because a different time zone, you need a couple of days to adapt to it and now we are in it, now we leave. But it’s all OK, we have an important week ahead of us; we go to Evian in France and have a proper training camp there. Before that, we have a very tricky game against Napoli. The game against Lyon we pretty much organised only because of the boys who came back, hopefully they can all feature for some minutes in that game, it would be really important.

The impression, outstanding. But after this trip nobody should talk to me too often anymore about the Champions League trophy, that’s now finished, we don’t carry it with us all the time still, so we really can start writing a new book or chapter or whatever.

On a tough period ahead for the injured Nathaniel Clyne

It’s really a shame that it happened. It was a normal situation; we watched it back and Clyney himself thought it was a knock, nothing else. That’s how it felt in the first place. Of all the injuries you can get, an ACL is always the one you don’t want to have, but if you get an ACL then he has the best one, to be honest. It’s isolated, it’s only ACL, it’s not 100 per cent ruptured but still needs surgery. That will all take time. But half a year is another half a year to show up again, so I don’t think it will have a big influence on Clyney’s career. But of course it’s not a very good moment for a player and for us it’s not a good moment as well. You can prepare as much as you want, there are always problems you cannot prepare for and this is one of them.

On whether the injury influences Liverpool’s transfer plans…

No, this injury will not have an influence on our transfers.

On what he liked and didn’t like about his side’s performance…

We have to work on everything, that’s normal, but I liked a lot. A lot of moments in the first half I liked a lot; positioning was much better, defending was better, we were closer together apart from the second goal we conceded. We were pretty wide, there was a lot of grass between our players. I have to watch that back, I don’t know exactly how it happened. It was intense. We have players in the team who played tonight 60 or 70 minutes; with the training and the sessions we had, it’s a bit too much usually actually but we have to do it because we don’t have that much time. So they had to go through that. The first half was really good, then there was a little like a dip when everybody felt the intensity, but that’s normal that you feel it – you only have to fight it. I liked a lot of the game tonight; we had sensational set-pieces, really good goalie saves, and a bit of luck involved for Sporting. That was a really good step for us.

Watch: Liverpool 2-2 Sporting in 90 seconds

On the hardest challenges Liverpool have faced in pre-season so far…

In Notre Dame and Boston it was 100 per cent the weather. I think we hit the two hottest days of the year, pretty much. When we played that was a big challenge and for the session as well as the games. Pitches are always a challenge in America; they are wonderful stadiums but they are usually not soccer stadiums, so it was a bit tricky. Tonight it was really funny because the pitch was not symmetric, but everybody did a really good job to make it happen. [The stadium] was really good and I liked it a lot. It is not allowed for me to say too many good things about the Yankees because we are obviously Red Sox, but from a professional point of view they were really nice to us. It was a very good experience, especially for the young boys.

It was really nice to be here, but it is good as well to go back because we play in England and Europe, so [to go back to] train and play in conditions we are used to. Everything is fine. We have had injuries, especially with Clyney now and Paul Glatzel, a young kid, but apart from that we came through so far, that’s really important to us. Now we get back, hopefully, six players when we get home: Naby Keita should be ready to train hopefully, Shaqiri should be ready to train and then hopefully to play. Mo [Salah], Bobby [Firmino] and Ali [Alisson], and then a week later Sadio Mane as well. They are obviously really important players for us. So far, so good, but we have things to improve and we have to make sure we are ready for the start and then continue. That’s it.

On Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s game time…

Two [starts] in a row with 60 minutes in both for Ox. That’s very important, very important. Today he was a bit unlucky. Ox has a bit of a calf problem, it’s not a tear or whatever, it’s just he has it from time to time when the intensity gets maybe a bit too high for him. But he had to go through the first 15 or 20 minutes. Ox was really involved in the game, he was really good and then he felt that and he could not really be part of the game anymore. Apart from that, [it’s been] really important. So far, he could make pretty much all sessions, which is unbelievably important. Very positive things.

There are a lot of positive things in pre-season so far. We know it is every year the same in pre-season, you have these kind of games that are important but have no real value in the end because the Premier League, the intensity, the concentration level, everything, you can see immediately it is on a completely different level when you start that. We have to talk now about these games because we didn’t play any other games and there are some things I liked and some things I didn’t like and we can work on both. With the team we have, it’s not the longest period but it must be long enough for us.

On the performances of Rhian Brewster, Harry Wilson and Ryan Kent in pre-season…

There were very good moments – very, very good moments, especially Harry.  They are good players. Ryan had sensational moments in the Sevilla game – one-on-one situations are his big strength. He is a wonderful kid, a wonderful player. Harry is as well. Rhian is in a similar situation like Ox is. He didn’t play for a long, long time so that he could do all the sessions [was important] – and he did all the sessions. Especially around the Sevilla game, you could see in training, it is a bit too much for him but in sports it is a bit like this – you cannot only train on the sunny days, you have to work on the other days as well. Very good moments in pre-season, but it is for all the boys always a big challenge as well to show up. They probably feel under pressure, which they shouldn’t but it is natural that it happens. I am happy about that, absolutely.

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