Jürgen Klopp press conference: Toulouse analysis, making changes and Nunez happiness

NewsJürgen Klopp press conference: Toulouse analysis, making changes and Nunez happiness

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By Chris Shaw at Anfield

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Jürgen Klopp wants to see the same desire and intent from a Liverpool team to which he will ‘make a few changes’ for Thursday’s Europa League clash with Toulouse.

Matchday three of the competition’s group stage sees the Ligue 1 side visit Anfield in Group E, with the Reds having taken the maximum six points available so far.

Klopp’s men also come into the tie against the 2022-23 French cup winners on the back of success in the Merseyside derby – and the manager detailed the hunger within the squad to keep delivering victories.

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“Toulouse deserves all our respect,” said Klopp at his pre-match press conference on Wednesday afternoon. “It’s a really interesting story, winning the French cup last year and coming 13th in the league – it’s a massive, massive thing obviously.

“This year a really young team, a really talented team, a football team. When you see them playing it’s really nice, they have a clear idea. But we have to see how they exactly show up here, we don’t know.

“Against Paris [Saint-Germain] or Lens they play slightly different; in all other games you could see that they really want to go for it. Got a point against PSG, which is obviously a massive one.

“So, we have to make sure that we are really ready. And then it’s about us, that’s very important, that we really create an atmosphere through the way we play. If we do that then as much as I’m pretty sure they are looking forward to playing at Anfield – the players of Toulouse, coaches, stuff like this – we have to make sure they cannot enjoy it, because that’s the plan.

“It’s a competition and we are not here for friendly games or whatever, we are really here to win football games and that’s what I hope we can show.”

Wins away at LASK and at home to Union SG have given Liverpool early command of the group as they seek to qualify for the Europa League knockout phase.

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On the benefits a third consecutive victory in the section would bring, Klopp replied: “True. It’s now not that I think we play Toulouse at home so we have to win and that we can lose at Toulouse, or whatever.

“We want to win football games and that’s the next opportunity we have. It would bring us to nine points and keep Toulouse on four points, that’s all clear. But knowing that changed nothing. We have to play to our best.

“We will make a few changes, not too many maybe, we will see. But we have to make sure that we are really ready for the competition and the boys showed so far that we are ready for the competition. That’s what I want to see.

“Obviously we hope it will go long, long, long in this competition and for that we have to make all the decisive steps and tomorrow night is a very big one.”

During the chat with the media at Anfield, Klopp was also asked about the current form of Darwin Nunez, who came off the bench and supplied the assist for Mohamed Salah to wrap up last Saturday’s defeat of Everton.

“He’s just in a really good moment. Darwin is in a really good moment,” said the boss.

“Yes, there was some time necessary to adapt to everything: new country, new language, new team, all these kinds of things. That’s long gone. He is in middle of the team, everybody is really happy with him, I’m very happy with him.

“We had to make a decision before the [Everton] game who of the two will start, is it Lucho [Diaz] or Darwin? Darwin had a little bit cramps at the end of the international game, so we thought, OK, maybe we start Lucho. Spoke to both, both took it.

“Lucho’s job was to create, prepare, do what you can do to cause as much trouble as possible, and Darwin comes on and kills the game off – that was the idea and that worked out really, really well.

“But you could see it was really intense for him, even if it was 20-odd minutes. It was really intense, so it was the right decision to do how we did. It’s always tough for the boys to have these kind of travels before the games. But now he is fine for this game, I would say, and for the next game. That’s good.

“And yes, I think he is really happy in the moment, we are really happy with him. That’s what I can see at least on the pitch and on the training ground, and that’s really important. Really good moment for him.”

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