Press conferenceJürgen Klopp assesses Leicester win, Mac Allister's display, Nunez, youngsters and more
'A good day in the office' was Jürgen Klopp's assessment after Liverpool's 4-0 win over Leicester City in a pre-season clash in Singapore on Sunday.
Darwin Nunez, Bobby Clark and Diogo Jota were on the scoresheet for the Reds in the first half at the National Stadium, before Ben Doak added the fourth goal in the 64th minute.
The result saw Klopp's men successfully defend the Standard Chartered Singapore Trophy, and they will now begin to look towards Wednesday's meeting with Bayern Munich to conclude their trip to Asia.
Read on for a summary of the boss' post-match press conference...
Watch highlights: Liverpool 4-0 Leicester
On the game...
Obviously we scored wonderful goals, that was good, created great other chances, that was good. First half, the high press didn't work pretty well. In moments it got better and then we won the ball high up the pitch, which is so important. But that's why we had these situations where Leicester could go through with the speed. It's really difficult for the full-backs in these moments to be in the right position. We started these kind of things slightly in between – everybody knows that's not new and not a problem, the thing is just the boys around the ball have to put real pressure on the ball. That's what we didn't do. Second half [was] much better. I think we realised that immediately, looked better. I said it's really important for us to see that because we spend a lot of time on that.
In possession, again, first half looked in moments a bit stiff. Curtis and Trent in these moments are both sensational footballers and can do that. When we then found Macca in between the lines then it was really good and when we sped the game up it looked really good. We need to be calm but in some moments we were a bit too calm and the passing was not hard enough and quick enough, and then, in the end, not good enough. But a lot of good moments, it's just we can do better, so that's pretty much what I'm talking about.
So, I'm absolutely fine, the result is top, nobody is injured, just a few knocks. The atmosphere was top during the game but especially after the game. The lap we had afterwards, it's really special, I have to say, and we now experience it a couple of times but it's special. What the people are doing here, thank you for that. Yeah, a good day in the office. All good.
On whether we saw what Alexis Mac Allister will bring to this team...
Good player. These things, it needs time. Even in the season it's not that you have the first game and then it's the best game of the season – that would be really horrible if that would be the case. So, we have to work on it and we work on that. We have a lot of options in the areas and the boys need to show up. It's not pressure, it's just the situation because I think it was clear when we scored in the first half three goals but second half Cody and Dom and Luis and Ben [Doak], to be honest, that was pretty special. And Harvey as well really showed up. James [McConnell] on the six is just a joy to watch – the boy never played the position before we put him there and he throws his heart on the pitch to fill the role. These things are really good. Joey looked good today in the position. Joel is just calm on the ball – you can see that [with] the stepping in and that all helps.
Everybody has still a bit of work to do, that's absolutely fine. Tomorrow in the morning we have recovery and after that we will have a proper, proper video meeting where we go through all the things so far and we show the boys good and bad. In the afternoon [we have] a proper physical session and then we prepare the Bayern game with two sessions. That's it. It's a pre-season game, so not the most important thing, and, yes, we needed a few goalkeeper saves – that's fine. We know why we needed them and that's what we have to work on. I'm really happy then in the second half the high press looked a lot better because otherwise I would [go], 'OK, we spoke so much about it and it doesn't work anyway, so that makes no sense.' But second half showed we really worked on it and that's why I liked that.
On Nunez's pre-season form and the need to give players time to settle in...
I don't think I have to tell our fans, it's pretty much traditionally – or historically – for us that usually players for us, especially offensive players, [need time]. Sometimes you need more time, that's how it is. I think the signs Darwin showed already last season were really good. Injuries and the red card were not helpful in the start directly and these things, but it's all good. They all are a threat, they all are good footballers – the ticket into the team will be the readiness for defence because you never hear about a team being really successful with sloppy defending, it just will not happen. For Darwin [it's] the same like for all the other strikers as well because I know about the quality they have and they need to do both, like our other players have to do both as well – defend and being influential in all the offensive situations. It's good, you can see he is a handful, the speed and the goal was a typical goalscorer's goal. Being there, smelling it and finishing it off. In training he looks really good. He is fit, that helps, and now two more games and Chelsea.
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On Liverpool's midfield set-up in the second half and whether that could be used again in future...
I think it's now a bit early if we speak about James on the six. I just like how he took his chance. Harvey and Dom are proper contenders for the positions, definitely, and I think both proved why, both showed really exactly what we need in that position, so that's why there's nothing sorted yet. I don't sit here and know exactly which line-up will play against Chelsea. Why should I? Two pre-season games [to come], a lot of things can happen, but we will need all of them. Really, the young boys took the chance just to show up – I told them already a week ago or so in the dressing room and I said I saw a lot of young players in my career but this group is special.
Calum [Scanlon], the desire to play; Mel [Frauendorf] is a bit longer with us, but he makes big steps every year; Ben of course; Bobby scored his first goal today; Quansah grew in the last years, not only physically but as a man as well – a proper centre-half; Koumas, very early but physically already there, has all the things you need as a kid to become a real player – the speed, the technique and all that stuff. That's good, let's see where it will lead us to, but if these boys play the main role next season then we will have a problem because whilst we use these boys in moments where it's really going well, then one here and one there and they have still time to develop – and we give them that time. The other players have to sort the things for us – and Dom and Harvey are obviously two of them. We absolutely count on them, that's clear.