Klopp on Konate fitness, returning players and Palace selection plans
Ibrahima Konate is closing in on a return from injury as Jürgen Klopp prepares to make changes to his team for Liverpool's visit to Crystal Palace.
Centre-back Konate has been sidelined since sustaining a muscle problem four weeks ago but has now returned to training.
Klopp was asked for an update on the No.5’s condition on Friday prior to Saturday’s match at Selhurst Park and said: “Ibou is near but [only] two sessions he had after a long injury.”
Klopp was also quizzed on whether Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino are ready to start having made substitute appearances following their own injuries and indicated that he will rotate his squad this weekend following the defeat by Real Madrid.
“We can see now when the boys come on that they are not at their best at the moment but they need the minutes and everything will get better, but that is exactly the situation we have,” he replied.
“We are not sure if all the boys could even play again after Madrid because of some knocks here and there. We are really not 100 per cent clear so then we have to make changes and we want to make changes and we will make changes anyway.
“But it is not that you come back after a long injury and just it is clicking again. We have this situation now with Bobby and Diogo, we can see it with Virgil as well. Everybody expects Virgil always that he is like a robot pretty much but he played the most games last year, played the World Cup, played every game for his country, came back, from the first second played for us, got injured, comes back [and] plays, plays, plays. So, that’s the situation.
“That’s not perfect but it is what we have to go through. I don’t say everything that people say around us is wrong, not at all, but most of the things are not right as well so that’s how it is. But we know that we have to improve, we know that we have to change things and we will.
“We cannot do that now but it’s already clear that we have to do something in the summer, that’s clear, but for now we just have to go through this and fight back.
“Again, you can lose against Real Madrid but I don’t think a lot of teams can cause them the problems that we caused them in the first 20-25 minutes. Again, that’s a sign of quality as well. I don’t know who is interested in it because it was only 20 minutes and then you lose the game but it is still very important for us that I could see that.
“That’s why I was not in an overly bad mood afterwards because yes, if you make the mistakes that we made then it is really difficult, or impossible, to get anything probably. But there was some good stuff that I didn’t see for a long, long time and I was really happy about that. So now let’s try to keep that in our patterns, in our game, and then we will see.”