Press conferenceJürgen Klopp on Leeds, Ajax confidence, Harvey Elliott and more
Jürgen Klopp discussed a range of topics as he previewed Liverpool's home clash with Leeds United in a press conference on Friday.
The Reds host the Whites at Anfield on Saturday night looking to get back to winning ways in the Premier League.
Read a summary of Klopp's briefing with the media at the AXA Training Centre below...
On whether the Premier League is more competitive this year...
For different reasons I didn't think about the general situation of the Premier League. Now for a while I was more busy thinking about us. [I] don't know 100 per cent but I saw Leeds now, I saw them anyway playing, but now I saw the last three games and I have to say there's massive difference between the results they got and the performance they put in. Massive.
It's a typical game where we can look at the last two, or the last four, five, six games where they didn't get the result - a real result. And you think, 'Oh, they are in a bad moment.' Then you watch the game, and you think, 'Oh, actually they are in a good moment.'
They just don't bring it over the line and [they've] caused everybody massive problems - everybody. So, that's the Leeds I prepare for. About the league and the moment, honestly, the situation, more competitive… [Manchester] City is not running away and that makes it obviously already more competitive. There is not only two teams or one team out front. There are three, four, five teams out front. My problem with that is that only we are not one of them, so apart from that I don't look at other clubs apart from when we play them, what we do now against Leeds.
On the stat that Liverpool would be in the bottom three with Bournemouth and Leeds if games finished at half-time...
I don't know what it tells us about Bournemouth and Leeds, to be honest. But our story, it's about this; being 1-0 down all the time. We still get asked about this thing, it didn't happen now always, but it happened from time to time. That's one of the reasons why we are there.
Thank God the game is 90 minutes... it's an interesting question, but it's a question I should probably think a little bit longer about before I answer it. You cannot shoot unprepared for that. Our situation is clear, I think you can see it in different ways. Around the Nottingham game we had quite a few positive performances and results, but we cannot ignore the Nottingham game as well.
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Jürgen Klopp's Liverpool vs Leeds United press conference
The Nottingham game was difficult for reasons I had no idea we would face when we had the press conference before the Nottingham game. So, I'm sitting here now... until you ask me who can play, I couldn't tell you because a lot of things can happen overnight. That's it. I don't think you should only win the games where you are really outstanding. We were obviously not outstanding at Nottingham, but it was a game I think we should have won anyway. So, we didn't. But around that the reaction in the games from the boys was really good.
In difficult moments, overcoming now the difficulties against Ajax in the beginning is a very important thing for our development and that's what we are doing. Now we have to see who is available for tomorrow, build a team, line up maybe in a different system again and go from there. Whoever is available, my job is to bring the boys in the best possible position for them. Not to play the system I always played or liked the most, or whatever, and that's what we are trying in the moment, and it worked out a couple of times now and we have to keep going like this.
On how encouraged he was by the midweek victory over Ajax...
I think we had this conversation, or a similar conversation, after all the games we won. So, pretty much convincingly like Bournemouth, Rangers and... Ajax. The situation how we saw the group in the end is exceptional, to be honest. We got a real knock from Napoli, team in form in the moment probably in world football, unbelievable what they are playing - got a real knock but won after that all four games in the group, which is not easy, and are qualified. So, with the start we had, you cannot get more, obviously - it's not possible.
On taking the confidence from the game and win...
We have to - it's a better feeling. If we lost at Ajax, we have to play Leeds and then we have a final against Napoli - I would feel different I can tell you. But in the moment, it's not too important. Yes, we have to see who we can use again. The situation is a tough five games until the World Cup break. For us, all [are] super-important - they are. That's all I'm talking about and then there's a long break and we'll see how we get back and how others come back and these kinds of things.
But we have to create a basis for the time after and we have to do that with three games in the league which are all difficult. I can't find an easy one. Afterwards we are then the first, after the World Cup break, we are the first to face Unai Emery with Aston Villa, we have no idea what they will do until then, so great. That's our situation.
I'm not too much interested. Yes, the moment is OK. We are ready to fight again. I hope the people are ready to fight again. It's 7.45pm, Saturday night, a great time to play a football game. I hope everybody is in the right shape and let's go for it.
On how pleasing Harvey Elliott's development has been this season...
Very, since Harvey has [been] playing for the first team he is incredibly consistent. So, he started last year's season incredibly consistent. He was in the team and probably a standout player early in the season.
Now in a team which is not in a perfect moment he has a really consistent season so far. Good for him and very good for us as well that he is now scoring as well. It's a thing he has to involve in his game, definitely. This one [against Ajax] I didn't expect with the right foot but in general scoring goals must be part of each offensive player on the pitch. That's what he is now slowly but surely doing. So, yeah, really good what he is doing so far.