ReactionJürgen Klopp on Strasbourg defeat, youngsters and starting the season
Jürgen Klopp believes Liverpool's youngsters can draw plenty of experiences from Sunday's 3-0 defeat by RC Strasbourg Alsace that will stand them in good stead.
A youthful side were beaten at Anfield by three first-half goals from the Ligue 1 outfit, as the Reds wrapped up their pre-season schedule.
The focus now turns towards the start of the 2022-23 Premier League campaign, which sees Klopp's men travel to Fulham on Saturday for a lunchtime kick-off.
Read on for Liverpoolfc.com's post-Strasbourg interview with the boss...
On the young players learning a lot from the evening...
Yeah, that's the main thing for a night like this. So look, I said it before the game, when we planned this game then obviously we thought we have to do it for the first-team squad really, for the first-team players because usually today we could have played the striker who didn't start yesterday, Diogo, Oxlade, Naby, Curtis, and now on matchday Naby's ill and Curtis felt a little bit and we couldn't take any risk and all of a sudden the team is really young and you play a really strong Strasbourg side.
I said to the boys tonight after the game, I'm really proud of the second half, of the reaction, because these boys in their age groups, they are usually always the best and now we make the step to adult football and I loved the reaction. The first half, we saw the goals. We made mistakes but Strasbourg used them really well. I think first three shots were a goal and that made it, of course, difficult to stay positive, which is very important in a football game. But we found a way back and second half was obviously much better. I loved a lot of performances really, how the boys buy in in the way we want to play. But when there's no real striker on the pitch, it makes life really tricky and we played in their hands with that because how they set it up with a 5-3 is that the more passes you play, the tighter the spaces get, the more likely you lose the ball. When you lose the ball, you have a counter-attack with their physical strength up front.
It was a tricky one but I liked the second half and I liked how the crowd... I'm 100 per cent sure the kids out there, in the first place they see a Liverpool shirt and think we should win this game clearly and then they come here and the parents probably had to explain a little bit, 'They are only slightly older than you! Most of them.' But then the crowd bought in as well second half again and that was really cool. So it was a nice lesson for us and one we will use.
On Harvey Elliott's performance...
We are not surprised about that, we know Harvey now for a long time and he improves every day and that's really important. But what you could see today, he could do that after 88 minutes and you saw yesterday a very intense game where we were all struggling, and Harvey didn't look like he struggled at all today physically. That he's a good footballer, it's clear. But a player like Harvey needs target players as well and that's what we were lacking today. Fabio's good, all the boys who came on were really good, the kids – Bobby Clark, Tyler Morton again really good, Stefan played a really good game, felt a little bit so we took him off because of that. So many good performances.
Luke Chambers and Isaac are really good players but they made these mistakes and then it's really tough. Before the game you are happy that 44,000 people are here and when you make a mistake like this, you think, 'It would be better if nobody would be in the stadium.' It's all a process and we know how good the boys are. In England it's like this, with the system, with the U21s, they play pretty much without crowds and competition – you cannot learn to deal with these kind of things. And today we could give the boys the opportunity to deal with these kind of things. Now they know it, how it feels, now they can use it the next time and that's very, very helpful in their development.
You have to accept cookies in order to view this content on our site.
On the pre-season and his excitement to start the season at Fulham...
Of course. When you have a pre-season, I'm now long enough in the business that I think I can get a sense of where we are and how good we could be. But yesterday the game was a really good sign because we looked really ready, we looked really sharp and that's important. Now we have a full week, and in the end I think we have two full weeks probably for the next two games to prepare. You have to use that as kind of a pre-season, that's why we played today and now we have to see that we prepare well for Fulham because it's a different game obviously. But the boys look good and so I'm happy with where we are. A little bit lesser injuries would be nice – we were a bit unlucky very early, before we really started training, to be honest, and that doesn't help. But the boys will come back rather sooner than later and then we have a fuller squad. But in the moment, the boys who are available look really good and sharp.
Highlights: Liverpool v Strasbourg