Jürgen Klopp on fresh Premier League challenge, Fulham and more

Press conferenceJürgen Klopp on fresh Premier League challenge, Fulham and more

Published 10 hours ago

Jürgen Klopp looked ahead to the start of the 2022-23 Premier League campaign during a press conference on Friday at the AXA Training Centre.

Liverpool play their first game of the new season at newly promoted Fulham on Saturday lunchtime, travelling to Craven Cottage to kick off their league fixtures in the top flight.

Read on for a summary of the Reds boss' pre-match comments…

On his mood and the excitement ahead of the new season...

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Ours is no different, we never know what will happen. Big expectations, dreams, all this kind of stuff. From now on we can be a bit more influential, because everything else is nice and important what we did in the last few weeks but the real test is coming now.

On expecting a bigger test from Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal...

And [Manchester] United... and Newcastle... that's how it is. It's always like this. The season has finished, you make an analysis, or not, and then it's already clear. So, the next one will be more difficult. That's how it is. Yes, I think all the teams improved pretty much. Everybody tries to improve in the transfer market, using the experience from last season and these kind of things. The only thing we have to think about is our own stuff and that's what is necessary anyway. If the other teams wouldn't do anything better than last year, for example and it was difficult enough, then we have to improve anyway and that's what we try; little tweaks. Building on the stuff we know [that] we can do and getting there [with] a bit more variety and stuff like this. Being more dominant in moments with and without the ball.

So, a lot of football stuff we were thinking about. We tried to help the boys to do that [so] it becomes natural, let me say it like this, with training sessions. I enjoyed the pre-season, [for the] most part of it, so I am positive but that's a problem [as] it's a bit my nature, so we will see.

Inside Training: Finessing finishing in Thursday's session

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On facing Fulham on the opening day and the recent transfer business between the teams...

It's like Southampton, or whatever, in the past. Fulham is doing really well and did last year extremely well. I met Marco [Silva] at the managers meeting in London. Yeah, getting promoted by playing football is for me one of the hardest things to do in the Championship. They all play football, but being a real football-playing side [with] more possession [and] all these kinds of things. Set-pieces are important but not the main thing, so it gets all my respect and that's what Fulham did. They were a really good team. Fabio [Carvalho] was an important part of that team. Harry [Wilson] is an important part of that team. I think he's injured so these kind of things are of course difficult.

In a week before we play a team, or a few days before, I read a little bit about them, not only watching games, but read a little about them and then you see. I think they still have a few problems to solve in the transfer market but I'm not sure, [it's the] third for sure or maybe the fourth time in a row that we played the champion of the last Championship season, which is always full of confidence the opponent. Now it's away. Fulham, they'll be tough definitely, [it] will be a completely different game. I'm happy that we played the City game, to be honest, because we've had a little bit of a hint [at] where we are. But it's a completely different game and we have to be ready for that.

On how Fabio Carvalho is settling into his squad...

Top player. I love it. Massive talent. Really good kid and really happy to have him, so very important for us because we count on this age group as well. We don't wait now until they are 22, 23 or whatever and use them. No, no, no. He is ready like Harvey is ready in the similar age group. That's really cool. We all need luck in life as well with injury and stuff like this, but without that he will be a really important player for us.

    On Diogo Jota's new contract...

    I don't have him back in my squad but I will be very excited when I have him back in my squad. I had breakfast with him this morning, sometimes it must be enough. Top, top, top recommitment to the club. He's not even close to his limit, so much more to come. He's a very smart person and smart player, [he] delivered already [and] can improve a lot. Really excited about that.

    It's really good news for the club. It's good news for him as well because we are a pretty good club but it's really a win-win situation. I can't wait to work with him again, so it was like this pre-season [we] didn't have him too often, or not at all. It was one session actually, but it's good having him around because he's quite a character, [he's] really early in his life already [and] a really responsible person. He knows what to do to be successful in different areas. It's good to have him.

    On the plan for Darwin Nunez and whether he is ready to start Premier League games…

    Darwin is ready. Does that mean he has to start? I don't know. It's not about that. We obviously have still different options and that's what we'll use, and Darwin needs time to get used to a lot of things but he is already a real help. It went really quick, to be honest, from the first game where I thought, 'What are we doing with him?' – not because of him but because of the passes we played for him. It was a proper pre-season training session for him, the first game, when we gave him a lot of runs to do. But now obviously it's completely settled.

    He said it himself, he was very nervous in the beginning; from my point of view I sympathise with that a lot and it's normal, completely normal. You could see that but that settled pretty quickly because the team, all the players, not only the Spanish-speaking, took him under their wings. That was very helpful, so he feels very, very home after a short period. He had already an impact, he scored in the first final we could play, so that's fine. And the work will not stop here. He is in the best possible place.

    Published 10 hours ago