Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Liverpool back up and running again, claims upbeat Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes victory over Tottenham has sparked their season back into life.

The 2-0 win over their top-four rivals, achieved courtesy of a couple of Sadio Mane goals within three first-half minutes, was the Reds' first in the Premier League since they beat Manchester City on New Year's Eve.

Such performances have been in short supply in 2017, but Klopp feels his players are now back up and running - even if their new-found momentum will be interrupted by a 16-day break before their next outing at Leicester.

That period could turn out to be even longer as their Monday night game at the King Power Stadium could be postponed should the Foxes need an FA Cup replay to get past Millwall.

"Now we are back in this race and we have to use this situation," said Klopp.

"Even though we didn't perform fantastically in January we are still in a really good position in the league.

"Really it's not a shame (about the length of break). I love football, but I have no problems with a few days where we can now really train.

"The boys will have a little bit of a rest and then we will start a pre-season, that's how we understand it.

"We want to use the time and hopefully everybody can see that, it would make sense."

Liverpool are likely to go away for a warm-weather training camp and there will be some rest and recuperation after a hectic month saw them play 10 matches in 32 days to the end of January.

However, Klopp will also work on how to ensure his team do not suffer similar problems to the ones they have had over the last six weeks in struggling to break down sides who are mainly intent on defending.

"I don't want to find excuses for the not-so-good games or whatever," he added.

"I know that it will come up before the Leicester game and everybody will ask, 'What will you do now against a counter-attacking team...deep defending?'.

"It's not that we have no idea about it, but we need the boys in the best shape and then you need to make the right decisions on the pitch.

"It's not always about willing - you cannot want with all you have, sometimes you have to wait a little bit and then you have to be still in the interesting positions."

Having Mane back to his best after missing most of January at the African Nations Cup will no doubt help.

The Senegal international is now Liverpool's leading scorer with 11 goals after his two well-taken efforts - which could easily have become a hat-trick or even better - as Tottenham were swamped at Anfield.

"It was not easy in the last few weeks, but it's football and that can happen," the winger told liverpoolfc.com.

"More important is the reaction - we did it and we're just going to try to keep going.

"The difference was the quick start. At 2-0 we stayed compact as a team and worked together.

"We're doing our best all the time on the pitch. Until now, nothing is done.

"We're going to take it game by game until the end of the season."

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino was at a loss to explain why his side, who went into the weekend in second behind leaders Chelsea, put up so little fight.

"It's important to realise that you always need to compete in the Premier League and always give your best," said the Argentinian.

"For different reasons that we need to analyse, the team, collectively, didn't show.

"It's not about quality, because we have quality, it's aggression to try to win the three points.

"We need to be clever, to be strong, to analyse, to find out why and to change."

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph