Jürgen Klopp on Brentford, 350th game in charge, analysing and more

Press conferenceJürgen Klopp on Brentford, 350th game in charge, analysing and more

By Glenn Price


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Jürgen Klopp touched on a range of topics during his preview of Liverpool's Premier League fixture with Brentford.

The Reds boss answered reporters' questions at a press conference on Friday morning – read on for a summary of his comments...

On whether he has any concerns about 'the team's lack of creativity without Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane'...

Jürgen Klopp's LFC squad fitness update ahead of Brentford

Squad newsJürgen Klopp's LFC squad fitness update ahead of BrentfordLiverpool have no fresh injury concerns ahead of Sunday’s Premier League meeting with Brentford, Jürgen Klopp has confirmed.

The question was coming, yeah, that's clear. So the only way you can avoid these kind of questions is scoring. Look, the situation is clear, they are not here and they are world-class players, so that's how it is. Do we miss them? Yes. But I liked especially the start yesterday in the game. With Sadio and Mo, we had before some struggles – which is not something I like – against 10 men when they were both on the pitch and we still couldn't create enough and these kind of things. So it's not about who is not in, it's about how can we do better with the team which played last night, for example. Again, the start was really good because we caused Arsenal a lot of problems, we pressed in the right spaces, we created enough for the starting period, and then the red card happened and then you have to play with a team which obviously didn't play now five times together in this set-up. You have to break down a really low block and that's in football the most difficult thing always. We couldn't do that last night, that's true. We were not good enough in moments but that's the situation. Nothing else. Nothing to do with who is not here, it's all about how can we do better and we can do better and that's what we will do.

On preparing to take charge of his 350th game as Liverpool manager...

I'm really happy and really proud of the things we achieved here so far, but it's not that I think a second about it, to be honest. It's just the next game is really decisive and when you are a manager here at the club in all competitions everybody, ourselves involved, expects to win the next game – and that's a task but it's fine because we have a great squad, we have great players. It's a fantastic club. I'm really happy about the time we had here so far and I hope to enjoy the next few years as well. It's all good but these numbers are not important to me, but 350 is a nice one – better than 15 and out.

Highlights: Brentford 3-3 Liverpool

On what to expect from Brentford at Anfield...

A fight. Brentford are a team who have a specific way to play, especially against us. They are pretty direct since then. I think the goalkeeper that day was the playmaker, there was many long balls and we struggled to defend these in the first place, too many second balls for Brentford. But anyway, the goals they scored were absolutely avoidable, if I remember it right because the analysis didn't happen yet – obviously we do that in an hour or so. Set-pieces, we were a bit sleepy and in the end they could bring the ball somehow into the back of the net, so that's a way how it should not go. So we have to be absolutely alert, we have to be absolutely ready. They have special set-pieces, they will probably be direct, they play a brilliant first season in the Premier League and that's absolutely impressive. Thomas Frank is doing a brilliant job there. The squad is well set up, interesting players there, the way they want to play. How I said, so many things really work together there that we have to be really aware of. But I hope we can play much better than we did in the first game and can use Anfield – that would be helpful.

On whether he'll 'write off' the Arsenal draw on Thursday...

No, we don't write it off. Look, all the things you do in life are important experiences, so you do it again or you will never do it again, all these kind of things. This was the last game, we played it on Thursday and the next one is on Sunday and we play maybe against a similar set-up – with 11 men but maybe five in the back, all these kind of things. So, [it's] very important information from last night. But again, after the game I accept that 100 per cent it was not the most exciting game, it's not a game we will talk in 500 years about, these kind of things. But the start was anyway good and then the 11 Arsenal players, a strong line-up from Arsenal – yes, they had some problems – but the first XI was a really strong line-up and we were really good in the game and that's what we have to take as well. So no, we will not write it off, we will work with it and use it.

Jürgen Klopp's pre-Brentford press conference in full

On the need to start well on Sunday...

It was the situation, trying too hard, yes, but it was the situation. In 11 v 11 it would never have happened, definitely not, because it's Arsenal and we are not silly and we don't think we have to score against them after 20, 30 and 40 minutes. But with the change, playing against 10 men you could see all of a sudden we felt in kind of a rush, which makes no sense. But hopefully the next game will be 11 versus 11. If it's 11 versus 10 [or] whatever, then you have to deal with it as well. It's just you do something and then you realise it was not right but you cannot change it in the game anymore. I think we changed it in the game a little bit – I liked the last 10, 20 minutes. We were much clearer [in] situations, Curtis was really helpful when he came on, Neco then having him high up the pitch and these kind of things, having a one-v-one situation and bringing the ball into the box.

It was a mix of sometimes we tried it too hard, and other moments we didn't give the opponent the chance to make a mistake. So like if the box is full, you still have to shoot because the goalie cannot see if the box is full, you still have to cross in these situations because, especially when you are pretty much on the touchline, there's a good opportunity that a deflected ball goes in, these kinds of things. You cannot outplay that constantly, you have to force it in moments, but with a calm heart that you just try and you know, 'OK, didn't work, where can we improve?' and these kind of things. But it's not so easy when you are in the game, it's much easier to talk about after the game and then readjust – and that's what we will do.

On playing 'without the pace of Salah and Mane'...

Look, there's absolutely nothing bad to say about Sadio and Mo, absolutely nothing. Outstanding players. Naby on his day, one of the best midfielders I ever saw. That's all positive about them but they are not here. Last night we didn't miss speed, that was not our problem, or pace, whatever you want. Because they were so deep, where [do] we want to run – over the touchline, in the stands? There was no space to use that. Nonetheless, how I said, we have to build on how we started because that was good and then you don't think about that. There are so many things we can do, a lot of top counter-pressing moments, winning the ball back, going from there – that's not about this final pace what they usually bring involved in our game. This is needed in different situations. We have to play against deep formations, in between the lines, all these kind of things. There's quick thinking – much more important than quick running. Yes, Mo, Sadio and Naby, they can think quick as well but they are not here, so the rest can do that as well.

I understand 100 per cent, it was clear, crystal clear, that we will sit here today and we draw 0-0 against 10 men of Arsenal and the only thing you have in your mind, all of you, is Sadio, Mo and Naby are not here. But that's, of course, not a solution, that's only part of a problem. We are here to find solutions and I'm completely in the game to find these solutions. Last night we were not perfect, that's true, but maybe we are more closer to our usual standard in the next game and then we can win the game, and then you have to get through different periods in a season – we always had to. So, this is our period now, let's get through this – together, by the way.



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This article has been automatically translated and, while all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure accuracy, some errors in translation are possible. Please refer to the original English-language version of the article for the official version.