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Darts, “horrendous pressing” & plenty of praise – 5 things from Klopp’s press conference

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Jurgen Klopp was very happy after Liverpool’s FA Cup win over Southampton, and he picked out several players for individual praise.

Here are six key points from the manager’s post-match press conference…

The start didn’t go to plan

Liverpool won 3-0 which makes it easy to forget how they were put under pressure by Southampton in the first half.

They largely had Caoimhin Kelleher to thank for keeping the score at 0-0, and Jurgen Klopp agreed, saying: “The first 20 were a mess; we tried to press, the boys know I want them to press, but it was horrendous.”

Thankfully, Liverpool saw out the storm and, like against Luton, showed their class in the second period.

The week of the academy

It is fair to say that Liverpool’s youngsters have stepped up when we have needed them, and Klopp has sung the academy’s praises several times now.

Tonight was no different, with him saying: “This is the week of the academy and I am so happy to be able to say that.”

Against Southampton alone, two players, Lewis Koumas and Trey Nyoni, made their debuts. In total, there were 11 under-21s in the squad.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 28, 2024: Liverpool's goal-scorers Lewis Koumas (L) and Jayden Danns celebrate after the FA Cup 5th Round match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Not much clearer on injuries

While it is great that Liverpool keep winning with a makeshift team, but the Reds do need some of their star players back if they are to win the league.

Whether the Reds have anyone back for Saturday’s trip to the City Ground is unclear, though. “We will see who can play on Saturday, there is unfortunately not a lot of time,” Klopp said.

When asked if he knows if Mo Salah will be fit for Saturday’s match against Nottingham, Forest simply replied: “No.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 28, 2024: Liverpool's goal-scorer Lewis Koumas embraces manager Jürgen Klopp as he is substituted during the FA Cup 5th Round match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp watches the darts then

As mentioned, Liverpool need to start getting their key players back, despite the success of the last week.

Klopp also suggested that fans shouldn’t be quick to forget their talents once the transfer window reopens.

The boss explained: “It’s like the new darts sensation (Luke Littler). Tonight it’s fine but tomorrow leave them alone, they have a lot to learn. They are exceptional talents.

“It’s not natural for a boy to be as calm as you like. The future doesn’t look that bad; maybe people don’t forget that when the transfer window opens.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 28, 2024: Liverpool's goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher during the FA Cup 5th Round match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Goalkeepers need rhythm”

While he hasn’t always lived up to his high expectations in league matches this season, Kelleher has really stood up the challenge recently.

Klopp said: “I love [Kelleher]. I’ve said it very often, goalkeepers need rhythm. Caoimh knows, he’s confident, he can play in other teams and we have Alisson Becker.

“So we gave him the Europa games and then he’s played while Ali has been injured. He kept us in the game.”

If he can take this form back into the Premier League, Kelleher could be key to Liverpool continuing to win games, even with key attackers missing.


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