Press conferenceJürgen Klopp's verdict on LASK 1-3 Liverpool
Jürgen Klopp was happy with what he felt was a deserved win for Liverpool as they came from a goal down to beat LASK 3-1 in the Europa League.
The Reds fell behind in the 14th minute of their Group E opener on Thursday night, with the hosts’ Florian Flecker driving a powerful finish past Caoimhin Kelleher.
But Klopp’s men found their stride after the interval, equalising through Darwin Nunez’s penalty and then clinching victory courtesy of goals from Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah.
The success in Linz was Klopp’s 50th in Europe for Liverpool – a milestone no manager had ever previously reached for the club.
Read a summary of the boss’ verdict on the encounter at his post-match press conference below…
On his assessment of the game…
So obviously LASK had in the first half one shot on target and it was after a set-piece. We had very good moments but I saw the boys didn’t feel that, it was not that we could gain confidence from our good moments – and thought maybe we should do that again. But we suffered a lot from the lesser-good moments – confidence-wise, frustration grew. That makes no sense; it’s human but it makes no sense anyway.
We showed two football situations from the first half where we did really well. I’m pretty sure the boys would have thought there was nothing good in the first half, but that’s not true; we had good moments and that’s what we showed and besides that I told them we had to get rid of the frustration and start getting back into the game again and we have a good chance to turn it around. And that’s what we did. And I’m really happy because I knew it would be difficult, it was difficult. We won it, well deserved, that’s it.
On the encouragement he can take from the performances of some of his younger players…
Oh yeah. How I said, I know how the world is and I know that people expect us to fly through this competition. It will not happen. It will not happen in the group stage, it will not happen in the knockout stage. It will not happen. We have to dig into it and that’s what we did. It was a massive learning curve tonight, the opponent suffered much less from the pitch than we did, which is a little bit normal because we had the ball more often. But besides that we had to get used to it. So we can learn so much.
If we would have used Ben Doak a little bit more often, given him the ball, I think he would have got the ball more times on the touchline and passed the ball inside or whatever. Stefan [Bajcetic] found a way into the game after a rather difficult start, but we caused him problems obviously with the timing of our passes. Ryan [Gravenberch] played a super game in really difficult circumstances and was really decisive for us. Ibou [Konate] could get 80 minutes I think, Stefan could get minutes. So there were so many positives and I am cheeky enough to be really happy about that game.
On achieving a record 50th European win as Liverpool manager…
Let me say it like this, if I have still 50 after the group stage then I’m still the most successful Liverpool manager [in this regard] and everybody will hate the fact! [It’s] nice. We played quite a lot of games in Europe. It’s good that we won that many, we qualified frequently for finals so of course we should have won games. It’s great but probably it’s because in European competition there are just much more games than in the past. I’m pretty sure that’s it.