Jürgen Klopp on Elliott 'fairy tale', Diaz debut and more after Cardiff win

ReactionJürgen Klopp on Elliott 'fairy tale', Diaz debut and more after Cardiff win

Published 6th February 2022
By Sam Williams and James Carroll at Anfield

Jürgen Klopp delighted in Harvey Elliott’s ‘fairy tale’ return after the teenager scored during Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Cardiff City in the Emirates FA Cup fourth round.

Elliott was back in the Reds’ matchday squad for the first time since September following an ankle injury and came off the bench to rifle in his team’s third goal at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.

New signing Luis Diaz also made an impact, the substitute setting up Takumi Minamino to slot in the second goal after Diogo Jota had opened the scoring with a fine header.

Liverpool will now face Norwich City at home in round five.

Read a full transcript of Klopp’s post-match press conference below…

Highlights: Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff City

On being happy for Elliott…

I am! I am, absolutely. With the goal it became obviously a proper fairy tale, to be honest. In my mind I had the situation, it’s not nice but it came up, in Leeds when we lost him with this horrible injury. All the way through he was very patient and our medical department did obviously an incredible job with him, but he was patient enough to do all the necessary steps. Coming then on is already a great step back, but scoring this nice goal makes it a proper fairy tale so I am really happy for him. He was over the moon! It was properly touching. So, all good.

On Elliott paying tribute to physio Joe Lewis and the work they did during his rehabilitation…

You have to ask Harvey and Joe, I am not standing next to the bed when they work with each other! Joe is obviously our rehab physio, he works a lot together with the boys. The rehab process is led by Dr Andreas Schlumberger, there are so many things to do in this long period and you can do a lot of wrong things. Happily, or luckily, we did the right stuff so he is back, that’s good. Still he has time that you need, he was long out but you could see today that he is still an incredible footballer and we are all really, really happy for that.

Harvey Elliott: Me and my family will always remember that goal
6th February 2022

ReactionHarvey Elliott: Me and my family will always remember that goalHarvey Elliott's first goal for Liverpool against Cardiff City on Sunday is a moment the youngster will never forget.

On how Diaz is after his debut, which included an assist and a knock on his knee… 

Good, thank God! It was a scary moment, that’s true. The goal he set up for Taki was absolutely incredible: high press, counter-press, I love it, and then Taki finished it off. Then, the long ball, the heading challenge, he goes down [and] holds his knee afterwards. We were all really shocked. I had a look on the screen and I saw that everything was fine in the air, everything was fine when he came down, but then I saw the big fella of Cardiff standing on his knee and he has now a bruise there and a scar, it’s red and a little bit open. We all said to him, ‘Welcome to England!’ Now he has his first assist and his first little scar. That’s absolutely OK. I don’t think it will be any more serious – maybe tomorrow he feels it more and we have to react to that, but it’s nothing serious. 

On Minamino’s performance and sharpness after playing twice for Japan in the international break…

Taki obviously was very successful with Japan. Before he left he was successful with us, so he is in a really good moment. Played today a really good game, scored a wonderful goal. He came back early, he could have stayed a little bit longer away if he would have wanted to. With his outstanding attitude he wanted to be back quicker, that’s why we could line him up today, a very good option for us. Yeah, he is in a very good moment, thank God.

On the quality of the squad available to him…

We had exactly the same squad before, as well. Luis came in and Nat and Neco left, Harvey came back as well, so when they are all fit we have a really good squad, but we’ve never said anything different. A really good squad and then we have to use that, of course, but it never happened really that they were all fit, it’s now the first time maybe. Let’s hope tonight nothing happens in the game in Africa and stuff like this and the two boys come back [fit] as well. We were never in doubt about the quality of our squad, that’s it.

On having the luxury of a fully fit squad to choose from at this stage of the season…

Look, I hate to talk about these kind of things because the next day I get a message saying something is not like it was before, but if they are all fit we have a good squad. Today, in this moment, it looks like they are all fit – even Divock Origi trained last week with the team. He was not ready for the squad yet but is in full training from now on, so yes that’s positive. But again, that’s this moment, let’s see what kind of news I get tomorrow and from there we go. We play Thursday against Leicester, we play Sunday against Burnley and then Champions League and all this kind of stuff, so the games are coming really thick and fast and we have to be ready for that. The more players we have fit and available, the better it is, but that doesn’t win football games because other teams have good squads as well, so you have then to do the right stuff on the pitch – and that’s what we have to do.

On Elliott’s mentality in overcoming his injury and returning to action…

Probably his biggest talent is how ready mentally he is for all the stuff out there. He is a kid, yes, but on the pitch not so much. He was buzzing, he was really waiting for this moment and we were all waiting for it. That we could do it today is just really nice. When he got injured, the next day or two days later, I saw him at the training ground and I was in a worse mood than he was, to be honest. He was pretty much like, ‘Come on, boss. Head up, I will be back,’ and stuff like this. He is an exceptional talent in a lot of different departments.

Published 6th February 2022