Klopp speaks to the press ahead of the weekend game vs Man City. Here are the highlights from the presser –
On why Coutinho was sold now
There was no other option, it was a pretty easy answer. Not sure how reaction has been after that, but if someone should be angry or disappointed, it should be manager of the club. I and the club tried everything to convince him to stay here and continue carrying on with us, (but) it was his dream and he left only for one club – Barcelona. We have to accept that. Club was fighting till last moment and tried everything. I knew this would come up again in the transfer window, but knew it would be difficult to use him in the 2nd half of the season.
On whether club is actively trying to replace Coutinho
It has to be the right decision. We don’t have to replace him, we’ve played fantastic football without Phil. I don’t want to sound disrespectful, he was here for five years, we will miss him but we have to carry on.
We have to go through the Transfer Window with open eyes, but we will not make crazy things.
On Keita deal being brought forward
Nothing to say about this. When we had this conversation around Coutinho, I said the same. He’s a player of Leipzig and he will be here in the summer.
On Salah’s fitness and comparison vs Sterling
Mo is back, he is training completely normal. It is important for us and it is a big game. We played there a few months ago, was a strange game for us. Fantastic open game, nice play, got a red card and that changed the game. We didn’t do too bad before that. They played fantastic and we need to show we can cause them problems, can make their life difficult and try to win. It’s Anfield and I’m looking forward to the game.
On having Van Dijk at the club
It’s a doable job to adapt him to the rest of the team. He was very impressive vs Everton. I wasn’t sure before the game. City game is a completely different game though……tactics needs to be flexible, I haven’t made decision on him yet. All 3 boys are in good shape.
If nothing else happens, I should sleep okay thinking about this problem. No one is guaranteed to start every match, even Van Dijk should not play 60 games a season. That will not happen.
On what will it take to get near City
(Their) Biggest strength is their offensive tactics, counter pressing etc. They do what they do very well. They’re not completely unpredictable. We can defend it but is really difficult. On a good day, we have a good level. But we’ve had some days where we’ve not done it with same consistency. Until the city game, we were pretty much level, after that we struggled and City didn’t. They used the momentum and we suffered. We lost Sadio and Phil was not fit 100%, plus Ox was not here.
What they do, they do, at an incredibly high level. KDB, Silva and Gundogan have been high level to give each other rest. This makes them a nice football team.
On confidence from game against City previously
We know it’s possible but it needs to come together. You get an opportunity to put things right. It’s just interesting to play against them, they’re playing really well. If you don’t respect them, you have a problem. If you do, you have a problem. We need to be brave, we need to show up.
On Sturridge leaving in January
Nothing to say about this. It’s how it is, we’ll see. 31st of Jan, lot of things will happen. Not only with Daniel, but with all, we’ll see. He is back in training and is on his way to being fit
On parallel between losing players to Bayern vs now losing Coutinho
I don’t know if it can be compared, lost plenty of players in Dortmund, probably couldn’t deal with it in the end. One player isn’t a problem. Best player in Germany
in 2011 was Sahin and he left, replacement was Gundogan who needed half a year to get into the game. It’s normal, you lose players. It’s about environment in the stadium. We have good players, we have to make the best of them. If on Sunday we have a free-kick and everybody thinks ‘Phil’, it wouldn’t be cool. We have solutions for everything. Use it, don’t suffer because of it. That is what I always did.
You can catch the full press conference here. Note: Scroll to the 14:20 mark.