Jürgen Klopp on Newcastle, returning options, Bajcetic, Carvalho and more

Press conferenceJürgen Klopp on Newcastle, returning options, Bajcetic, Carvalho and more

By Joe Urquhart and Glenn Price


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Jürgen Klopp previewed Liverpool’s Premier League fixture with Newcastle United in a press conference on Friday.

The Reds boss sat down with reporters at the AXA Training Centre ahead of his side’s visit to St. James’ Park this weekend.

Read on to see what he had to say ahead of the fixture…

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On a 'big game' versus Newcastle...

Yeah, massive game. So if we want to reach something this season, we have to chase everybody – especially the teams ahead of us in the table. There is no doubt about that. It's not easy, it will never be easy but I think the only way you can do it is to give it a try, and that's what we have to do, of course. But everybody knows that, you don't have to mention that. That's clear. So, tough one. Newcastle, best defence in the league, lost only once, I heard now, and that was against us when we needed a late, late goal, so obviously very consistent – which is the first step into success, always.

It will be absolutely interesting. It's a tough place to go, [it] was always for us. Hopefully we can build on the performance from Monday because that was obviously the main difference to other games we won. After the World Cup break we won two games, but we were not overly happy with the way we played, so you cannot really build on it. This time it was different. This was us and it looked like us. People said after the game that Everton didn't do this or that as much as they did against Arsenal; I really think it was because we did particularly well, to be honest, in that game. But that's a point to prove again tomorrow.

On the job Eddie Howe has done at Newcastle...

Eddie is doing an exceptional job, absolutely exceptional. The financial possibilities they have or will have in the future, it's exceptional and so far it's not that it's because of that – not at all. Eddie came there in a difficult situation. They stayed comfortably in the league, stuff like this and then the new season's not like you didn't recognise the team anymore from last year, like a complete overhaul or whatever. So, building on the team they had, improving players who were there – like Almiron, I always liked him but the way they are playing now obviously fits him extremely well.

Callum [Wilson] is obviously a fantastic striker, I'm not sure if he's injured tomorrow or not, they brought in Isak, makes absolute sense, Bruno Guimaraes is a massive player for them and all these kind of things. Trippier came in but lots of players were still there, and that obviously speaks volumes about the manager – how much he turned it around and made them a proper threat for everybody. It's a super-intense football style and [a] difficult team to play against.

Inside Training: Team rondos, Diaz running and more on Thursday

On managing Stefan Bajcetic's minutes...

It's not that difficult, to be honest. We have parameters, we can read numbers, stuff like this. But it's then all very individual, so even when a lot of players are young, they are still different. We have a close eye on that. We judge that all the time – if he's ready again. So far there were no signs that we had to rest him. But it was good for him because there were long breaks between the games – that's absolutely no problem. How it is with three games a week, I don't know, so we will have to see that. But we have other players as well.

Stefan played exceptional and not because he's only 18, he just played exceptional – that's actually the best thing to say. But it was, for sure, Fabinho's best game for a long, long time and Hendo played exceptional. That's just to talk about midfield, so that helps obviously. And Naby before didn't do bad. We didn't win games and stuff like this but that was not up to Naby. We have other players who are ready to go. That's the first time that we had a lot of players not involved in the squad, for the first time senior players not involved in the squad for a long time. So, there are options there and long may it continue like that.

On having forward options returning to his squad...

That’s massive but again Bobby in the end was eight weeks as well. So that's long, it's a long time. Diogo, obviously, was longer out, so we have to look now how we can use them. But, of course, with the amount of games coming up, we hope we can go to the next round of the Champions League as well. So, it means we will have 17 [games] in the league, but two more at least in the Champions League – hopefully four, six, seven [games], or whatever, if you want to go to the final probably. So we will be ready for that.

For that you need changes, and that was a big problem in the past around when we started again [after the World Cup], it was a massive problem because we started playing immediately. We couldn't change at all and had to integrate a new player, and Darwin was not fit, and all these kind of things. There were a lot of things but hopefully now it stays like this. That would be great because that's what you need to get kind of consistency and performances.

On Bajcetic overall...

Top talent, super player, played really, really, really good for us so far. Since he is with us it's a pure joy to work with him. I think the mix of Serbia and Spain is a good one for football... he’s a top, intelligent boy, how I said – a joy to work together. The interesting part is that his dad and Thiago’s dad played obviously together for Celta Vigo. So, not only Thiago, but Thiago as well took him under his wing. He has a great bunch of players around him he can learn from. So, yeah, an absolute joy to work with.

On Fabio Carvalho's progress...

Fabio is a very young player as well, big talent, absolutely, played well for us in a couple of games. Now it's a situation we have to make a squad and he couldn't make it for the last one – that's how it is, that's the truth, didn't play too often because, from my point of view, we needed different skills when we started or when we changed during the games. That's pretty much all, he did nothing wrong, he improved a lot, he developed a lot, he's a good kid and he's in the middle of the group, in the middle of the team.

That’s all fine but obviously [he's] not in a happy place in the moment – I cannot see that in the pitch, or when I see him, it's not really obvious, but I can imagine because he's a footballer [and] he wants to play and didn't play often enough. That doesn't help a lot but that's another thing in a long career [that] you have to go through. For me, it looks in the moment that he takes it as good as somehow possible.



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