Q&AJürgen Klopp's pre-Burnley press conference: 'We have to show a reaction'

By Joe Urquhart


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Jürgen Klopp has called on his Liverpool players to 'show a reaction' when the Reds welcome Burnley to Anfield on Saturday afternoon.

The boss previewed the Premier League contest with the Clarets on Friday by fielding questions from reporters at the AXA Training Centre.

Liverpool will be seeking an instant response to their defeat at Arsenal last Sunday, with Klopp keen to see his charges get back to winning ways as soon as possible.

Read on for a summary of what he had to say ahead of the 3pm GMT kick-off...

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Press conferenceInjury news: Updates from Klopp on Thiago, Salah and SzoboszlaiJürgen Klopp provided updates on the fitness of Thiago Alcantara, Mohamed Salah and Dominik Szoboszlai during his press conference to preview Liverpool’s meeting with Burnley.

On whether the Arsenal defeat felt like a 'setback'…

After all the time in England I'm still not 100 per cent sure that I understand all words 100 per cent right. Setback? We lost the game and it felt like that. Definitely. People told me after that we only lost [to] Tottenham [and] before that it was City. I didn't feel for a second like that, if we want, it felt like we lost in one game, five games, but not because [of the] situation in the table. Just because we lost the game and we didn't play a particularly good game. That just shows how it is, how it goes. A few days before that we played in a lot of parts of the game probably the best game of the season. A really good game, complete performance against Chelsea. It was a top-class performance.

Everybody could see the other night how good Chelsea can be if you let them and we go to Arsenal and Arsenal played a good game and we had our parts but not more. That's obviously something [that] is always a challenge for a manager. What are you doing? Ignoring? Or putting the finger properly on [the problem] or whatever. It's always somewhere in between. We don't take these things lightly and think, 'Oh, it can happen, at Arsenal you can lose.' We want to perform better than we did and that's what we try and we want and we have to show a reaction and that's actually the only good thing about it. That you can react and that's what we have to do, definitely, 100 per cent, so many things, especially against the ball, it was not even close to our standards. But you might say we didn't have shots on target, which is 100 per cent true, but it all comes with the way we defend. That's why that was the main point we were talking about. That's exactly what we have to do much better. If we do that then we will be better and that's the first step.

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On the latest on Conor Bradley, following the death of his father last weekend...

He's not available for the weekend. I think the mental state of the player is nothing we should discuss in public, to be honest. Everybody, if you have a bit of empathy in yourself and would just try to bring yourself in the situation, it's just nothing to talk about. It's all logical. The boy gets as long as he needs with his family. I think from next week on he will be back in training but we have to see. If he doesn't feel ready for that then that's fine as well. There is absolutely no rush from us. The only thing we want to do is support him as much as we can but in the moment he is still with his family and he is in the best place.

On the prospect of facing Burnley and whether it is a potential 'banana skin'...

I think from the outside world it's probably a banana skin. For a sportsperson it's actually not, because it's an opponent [we] respect a lot. I really think Vinny is doing an incredible job there, to be honest. He learned so early in his managing career so many very important things for the career after it. Having all the highs you can have, with running through the Championship last year like nobody else before. Then getting knock after knock by playing good football, by sticking to their principles. I couldn't respect it, I couldn't admire it, more, to be honest. You see them still playing. Now [David Datro] Fofana has scored two goals, came on [against Fulham], game before I think he was involved in the goal as well. They have now somebody [who] looks like they can score goals, on top of all the other boys.

Their results are strange, they lose not high, if they lose it's 2-1, 3-2, whatever. These kinds of things. You see they are in the game, they play football, they do that and we have to be absolutely spot on. For us, how I have heard, we will have the next increase of people in the stadium, which is really nice. I'm not sure how many there will be, if we can fill the stadium completely, but we can obviously introduce and welcome more people, which will be great. They will be all Liverpool's fans and I would say we have nothing else to do on Saturday, so let's create a special atmosphere, let's go for them. The team wants to show a reaction. If the people want to help us with that, it would be really helpful. The first thing we should forget is where Burnley is in the table because only that creates a potential banana skin. If you just see it as a game, the most important game, which it is obviously because there is no other, then I think we should be ready for it. But still, it's football. We have a lot of work to do.

On whether Wataru Endo's return is 'important' for his team having left for the AFC Asian Cup when playing his best football...

Very [important]. Yeah, from that point of view, it might have been the wrong point, besides that we came through that period without him pretty well. That was pretty impressive. Wataru before he left was really super-influential on the pitch. He gave us the opportunity in a lot of moments to really involve and use a lot of offensive players around that because his protection was just exceptional. But the playing side of the game as well. It's his birthday today, [he] turns 31. [He] looks good since he is back, so he's very important. How I said, with all the problems we have in the moment with players, it's super-important. Obviously Mo is not back as well and that means we really need every player. I'm not sure if it was two or three weeks ago when we sat here and we were talking about the luxury problem of lining up players. If anybody asks me that question again, I will kick them out of the room! Always when we talk once, 'What are you doing with that?' and a week later we have a completely different situation, that's exactly what we have now.

On the potential to move Alexis Mac Allister into a more advanced role...

Yes he can, but he did extremely well in the six as well, so we will see how we sort that. It’s good. Like I said, we need them all, and, of course, Macca and Wataru can play together as well. There is no doubt about that. They all can play together, it's not a problem, we just have to try to make sure that we bring them in at the right moment together. So, let's see.

On whether he has forgiven Vincent Kompany for his goal against Leicester City in 2019...

Yes, I forgave him that goal a long time [ago]. There are plenty of players I should hate - Arjen Robben is one of them! But I don't. Same as with Vincent Kompany. I believe there were other situations in that season where I thought they were more influential than Vincent Kompany's goal. When I think about that situation, I still think [James] Maddison should have blocked the shot! Vincent just tried to get rid of the ball, and it ended up in the goal! But no, absolutely, not that important, but yes, I forgave him, long ago.



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