Jürgen Klopp on injury reasons, Naby Keita future and midfield options

Press conferenceJürgen Klopp on injury reasons, Naby Keita future and midfield options

By Sam Williams


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Jürgen Klopp detailed the reasons behind the unwelcome number of injuries in his squad during the third section of his pre-Manchester United press conference.

Ahead of Monday night’s trip to Old Trafford, Liverpool’s manager answered journalists’ questions at the AXA Training Centre.

The final part of the media briefing also saw Klopp discuss Naby Keita’s future and the midfield situation in his squad.

Read a transcript below…

How much are the injuries currently in the squad attributable to the quick turnaround from last season and the shorter pre-season you had? Or is it just bad luck? Have you had that discussion?

It’s a mix. Yeah, a lot of course [it has been discussed]. When you have a lot of injuries, as a manager you have to ask first yourself what went wrong, stuff like this. Then you go through it and it was really unlucky. It started with the two injuries, or three injuries, which the players brought here. Caoimh, I heard the Irish manager didn’t like it, or however you gave him the information. However, for us it’s like this: he got injured at Ireland and whoever was responsible for it in this moment did not pick it up. Then when he arrived here he was still injured without having massive problems. In a short break the boys don’t train like crazy in this three-and-a-half weeks. Two weeks off, one week a little bit, then first time goalie training out until today [Friday].

Similar [with] Diogo. Played [for Portugal], had one session with us, it happened again. That’s now really unlucky. Calvin Ramsay arrived with problems pretty early. The stress reaction for Curtis Jones – he is not a kid anymore but still young, it can happen. It’s really strange, nobody knows exactly where it’s coming from, but it can happen. So, unlucky. Oxlade with a reasonable muscle injury. Thiago. Ibou in a tackle, getting in, unlucky-ish. It was a similar situation with Kostas, just in training: normal challenge, knee a little bit strange, out. Bobby only a little but enough for not being available… and I forgot 100 per cent somebody. Naby ill. If they are not available it’s all the same pretty much. Joel now. That was strange as well, how it happened. He didn’t feel anything in training, walked in and then said, ‘There is something’ and then he is out for three weeks, four weeks, whatever.

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So, it’s just strange, that’s true. But we cannot pick it up, we cannot say ‘that is because of that’ or ‘that is because of that’ apart from three [although] we cannot even pick that up, it just happened before we arrived and that increased the number already because obviously we have a squad where everybody is needed. We are not like 25, 26 players. But on the other side it opens up opportunities and I am really, really happy. I’m not sure the two boys Stefan Bajcetic and Bobby Clark would be that close to the first team at 17 years old if we would have them all available and now they make real steps, unbelievable every day in training. That’s good, but of course we would prefer to have an extra striker, an extra midfielder, available. You can now change five times but you cannot change five times sometimes! That’s it.

Yeah, it's not cool and you need a moment and last week was really horrible because it was like three players in one week. You think, ‘OK, what is going on?’ but that is the situation we are in and now in my mind, if we have a problem and you have the chance to sort it together then you do that together so I can’t wait for the next few games. Our people buy in, how they did now with 10 men: ‘Ten men and now come on, let’s still try it.’ That’s us as well. We never reached anything without fighting. We reached the biggest things coming up from situations which were not the best possible and that’s what I like about it. When we can create this it was the best possible start for us so far and then we realise, ‘OK, it will not be easy.’ We know it and now let’s go.

With the midfield situation in terms of injuries and Naby Keita being in the final year of his contract, would you accept it if the club wanted to sell him this summer?

And not replace him? No, that’s not possible, of course not. But it’s not the plan. We are not dumb that we think a player can go and we don’t replace him. No, there’s no chance. So, Naby will not go but if he would – what he will not do – there must be a replacement, of course.

Just to be absolutely clear: you are happy with the midfield situation, you have got what you need and that will not change?

Yes [I am happy], when they are all fit, 100 per cent. But even then we always look to strengthen, we have to and we always did. It must be the right player and if the right player is not available in this moment then we tend to say, ‘OK, then we deal with what we have before we sign a player who is not 100 per cent right.’ This situation never changed. Now we have more injuries than we would have imagined and now it would be cool to have a new midfielder in, of course – but for now, and then we don’t know when the boys come back and the situation changes constantly. You can just not do that and then there is another fact: I am, we are, not in charge of what we can spend. That’s the situation and we get told things and then we deal with that. It was always the same and never different. You can say that’s why we are here in a good understanding or that’s why we are here in a bad understanding, but that’s why we are here and that’s it.

You had Stefan Bajcetic and Bobby Clark on the bench against Crystal Palace so is this a situation where you would like to bring someone in but the financial constraints are in place for the right player and that is something you have to accept?

I always have to accept and I always did. Yeah, that’s it. It makes no sense to worry about something you cannot change, it’s just a waste of anything. A waste of energy, a waste of positivity. I love this group, really, I do, and not because they are so good-looking! No, because they are incredible, incredible characters and they showed it again on Monday. Now, let’s go and don’t worry constantly about what could, if, what, these kind of things. If the facts are the facts, accept them and go from there.



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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.