Jürgen Klopp on Liverpool's trip to Man Utd, Naby Keita, Joe Gomez and more

Press conferenceJürgen Klopp on Liverpool's trip to Man Utd, Naby Keita, Joe Gomez and more

Published 19th August 2022

Jürgen Klopp previewed Monday's Premier League clash with Manchester United during a press conference at the AXA Training Centre on Friday morning.

Liverpool are searching for a first league victory of the 2022-23 campaign at Old Trafford, following draws against Fulham and Crystal Palace.

The boss looked ahead to the fixture versus Erik ten Hag's outfit, covering a range of topics by answering journalists' questions.

Read on for a summary of Klopp's pre-match comments…

LFC fitness update: Roberto Firmino, Naby Keita, Diogo Jota and Curtis Jones
19th August 2022

NewsLFC fitness update: Roberto Firmino, Naby Keita, Diogo Jota and Curtis JonesRoberto Firmino and Naby Keita are expected to be fit to face Manchester United, Jürgen Klopp has confirmed.

On what test he anticipates and the recent strong record against United...

When we had the two results last year, I knew already in that moment it would not help for next year, that's always like this. I couldn't be less interested in the results from last year – they were different games, different situations. It just helps United, probably, a little bit to be even more motivated, if that's possible, in the situation we are in. No, this is a completely different game obviously in a different situation but that's it.

On whether he has spoken to Darwin Nunez about his red card...

Of course we spoke to Darwin and the reaction is like the reaction is in these situations. He was very disappointed with himself, obviously, that it happened. We spoke to him. The things the centre-half did, he's not the only player in the world who is doing these kind of things. Look, it's a bit like that, if somebody makes such a mistake and you tell them, '[You] should not do it.' 'Yeah, I know.' It's about emotions, it's about all these kind of things.

We never had a situation like this before here as I know, pretty sure. That's why I'm not an expert in these talks because I didn't need to have it that often. But it was that obvious that he knew anyway. He apologised, which is absolutely fine. We told him that it's not necessary to [be] walking through the building head down, miserable, stuff like this, because it happened. That's it. We are human beings and maybe made mistakes in our lives and will make mistakes in our life and then you have to carry on. If you don't do it again then it's all fine. It happened once and it's OK.

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On Naby Keita's future...

It's really funny when I have to respond on news because what you would learn if you sit on my side of the table is how often 0.0 is behind news. Then you would think, 'Oh, really? What can I believe at all when I read newspapers?' So, no, nothing, absolutely nothing. Naby was ill for a week, last game on the bench, is fully in training, looks really good. All fine. But not a player who is overly happy when he is not playing – should not be – but is completely fine, everything. Nobody came to me and asked me about anything like that, apart from you obviously.

On whether United's start to the season makes the game harder...

Yeah, of course. I would prefer to play them after they won 5-0, definitely. That's how it is. But it's not dreamland, so we have to take it like it is. We drew two games, so is it better to play us in a situation like this, or is it worse? I don't know. It's just the situation and in the end, there's a start in the game but then 89 minutes are still to go, so you have to deal with all the situations in the game and in this moment obviously nobody knows exactly what will happen around the game, we don't know. I think the whole world will watch it, it's Monday night anyway, everybody can watch it, and you will see how these two heavyweights deal with the situation. I would watch it, I will watch it.

On Joe Gomez's chance to gain minutes...

Of course it's an opportunity. But he was now really unlucky last week because he came on, he had only a little thing, only a little thing but I had to make the decision. He only came back to team training the day before the game – Sunday. I said no because we have Nat Phillips in, and I thought Nat played a really good game. I know there are people probably out there, saying, 'Yeah, but the first goal...' We have to defend the first goal in another position because there it's not to defend anymore when the ball is played, the last pass. So yeah, a big opportunity and he looks great in training. He's back. He was in the squad last week but now he's back in completely normal training and hopefully it stays like this and then he will start.

On what he has seen from Ten Hag's style of play so far...

You don't need my saying to that. It's obvious what he wants to do, he wants to build up from the back. We played them in the pre-season obviously. There, you could see and feel the high-press idea and these kind of things. We were, for sure, not ready for that game in the pre-season, not sure if the players arrived only three days before the game but that's how it is. We made some mistakes but they used them really well. The individual quality of United up front is ridiculous. [I] heard Martial can play probably, now trained again and can play. He played against us obviously a really good game, so another boy with technique and speed. Football quality in midfield, whoever lines up he will have Eriksen, Fernandes, Donny van de Beek, Fred... and McTominay. 

There's real quality there and then it's just about how we deal with that. But again, these one, two games they played in the league, I saw them both and now we have to try to figure out if he will change and what he will change. We go from there. If we have no idea then we just have to learn it in the game.

On arriving to the Premier League as a manager 'when expectations are high'...

I think for me it was easier because I didn't come for the start of the season, we didn't have a transfer window. In England people tend to say then, 'Yeah, it's not his team.' So whatever I did, you would have said, 'It's not his team.' I actually thought after one day it's my team, so I felt really responsible for all the performances from the first game. But it's easier. And now, I don't think you can really compare it, different times. My arrival is probably seven years ago – it's a long time in football, nearly a decade, a lot of things changed since then. But it's not easy, definitely not, especially when you have to 'rebuild', or however they see it, but change a lot of things [in a] team. That's not easy.

Published 19th August 2022