Klopp press conference: Brighton target, Mac Allister position, centre-back options and more

NewsKlopp press conference: Brighton target, Mac Allister position, centre-back options and more

By Chris Shaw


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Liverpool will be determined to ‘put a few things right’ when they travel to Brighton & Hove Albion this weekend, explained Jürgen Klopp.

The Reds were beaten twice at the home of the Seagulls last season, with a Premier League defeat followed by an Emirates FA Cup elimination in January.

Klopp’s side return to the south coast on Sunday off the back of an eighth win in 10 games so far this term, with goals from Ryan Gravenberch and Diogo Jota seeing off Union SG 2-0 in the Europa League at Anfield.

Cody Gakpo

NewsKlopp's injury update on Bajcetic, Bradley, Thiago and GakpoJürgen Klopp is optimistic Cody Gakpo will return to action after the forthcoming international break.

At his pre-Brighton press conference, the manager discussed the mindset of his squad ahead of facing Roberto De Zerbi’s team, Alexis Mac Allister’s role within the XI, his centre-back options and more…

On the talents Gravenberch has displayed for the club so far…

He is technically incredibly good, the first touch is insane. The speed-up is top-class. Really good shooter, which we saw with the Darwin [Nunez] goal which was disallowed [v Union]; but the ball was a fire ball before. He’s a really good player. Yes, he came late and yes, we play slightly different and yes, that needs time to adapt and that’s what we can give him, thank God. And he’s completely happy with it and is in the group and he realised in each training session that he gets treated exactly like all the others if he starts or not, he gets even a [bit] more information in specific moments. He can see what the other boys do in similar positions, he can watch it, he learns from it, he’s a smart boy. So, everything goes in the right direction, that’s really, really nice to see. Assists in the other games and now he has his first goal. It’s good – long may it continue. Very important for us.

On avoiding a repeat of the results away at Brighton last season…

Whichever options you have, if you play like you played last year, you will get a massive knock again. That’s how it is. So we should play better and I think we can play better, that’s the first step into the right direction, that’s what we have to make sure. Brighton had now I think a few results which didn’t go exactly in their way, but that’s a completely normal situation in a development. They had a lot of changes, lost top players – one of them we got – and still played incredible football. We could watch a little bit before the game; we couldn’t see the first half when they were 2-0 down [on Thursday night], I saw the second half when they put Marseille massively under pressure and got a point there.

So, we expect a really tough game, a really tough game against one of the best sides in the league, best-coached team in the league, I would say, because where they’re coming from and yes, Graham [Potter] did already a lot of stuff and that’s a really smart move from Potter to De Zerbi, to be honest. But they made really big steps and super-consistent, different formations, different players, line-ups – wow, in the end you always see Brighton football and I couldn’t respect that more. But I’m really looking forward to the game because we have to put a few things right, because you can look once silly but you should not look a second time silly. It still can happen because they are really good, but we have to do better and we will give it a proper try to do better definitely.

On finding Mac Allister’s ‘best position’…

No, we didn’t even look for his best position yet, we just use him. He’s a fantastic player. I love everything about him, super-smart, tactically and off the pitch as well. So that’s really, really nice to work with him. If we as a team defend well, he can play definitely the six, definitely. Did I know that before? I had a guess, but I was not sure because I didn’t know exactly how all the other boys will do defending and because we defend more compact and better than we did in our bad phases last year. We have small spaces and then it’s really, really good because he sees the situations really well, and from there we have an extra footballer on the pitch and it’s really cool. But best position, he’s too young for me to know it already, he’s a midfielder, I can tell you that, he’s a midfielder – and I’m happy about having him.

On the form of his options at centre-back currently…

So, we don’t make a difference between league games and cup games and stuff, we just play football and want to win the next football game ahead of us. So that means I didn’t make a decision who plays [together]. I know that they all can play together. It’s about, the boys had a little bit of history when they play too often that they then get injured. We had that in the past and we tried to share the really high, intense part as long as it’s possible. Maybe after the international break it’s not possible anymore, then two of the centre-halves play all the games. That’s possible as well.

So, I’m just happy. Nobody won the race, nobody lost the race. Joe Gomez played super on right-back, I’m pretty sure he played a really good game at centre-half as well. Aston Villa? That was a good game. So, [it] means they’re all there and we need them all. I didn’t make a decision, it’s just about who is now ready to go and after the internationals I hope they come all back. First Brighton, but then we give them all then to all different countries and then we will make a decision for the next game.



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This article has been automatically translated and, while all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure accuracy, some errors in translation are possible. Please refer to the original English-language version of the article for the official version.