No decision on Karius or Mignolet yet, but Liverpool's goalkeeping competition is "very positive" says Klopp

No decision on Karius or Mignolet yet, but Liverpool's goalkeeping competition is "very positive" says Klopp

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp says he has yet to make a decision whether Simon Mignolet or the fit-again Loris Karius will start in goal for the visit of Hull City on Saturday afternoon, but spoke of the "very positive" and healthy competition between the pair.

Charlie Malam

Jürgen Klopp refused to indulge on Liverpool's ongoing goalkeeping debate - insisting he has yet to make a decision whether Loris Karius will remain in goal over Simon Mignolet for the visit of Hull City.

The German was handed his competitive debut in the 3-0 EFL Cup win away at Derby County in mid-week and bar one flap at a corner in the second-half, performed faultlessly.

But Mignolet has started in between the sticks in all six of the Reds' other games so far this season and though he is yet to keep a Premier League clean sheet, has too performed without error. 

With Karius now at full fitness, having missed the first few weeks of the season due to his ongoing recovery from a broken hand suffered in July, the competition between the two 'keepers vying to be No.1 will undoubtedly be enhanced.

The 23-year-old, signed from Mainz in the summer, is seen as the long-term option in goal - but Klopp says he doesn't know who he will start against the Tigers at Anfield on Saturday afternoon.

I've made no decision yet, says Klopp

Klopp, speaking in his pre-Hull press conference, insisted it was "not a place to announce line-ups" but said that he and his backroom staff are viewing the situation in "a very positive way."

He admitted that he has "a little bit of experience" with goalkeepers, because that's where his father played, and said that it is "obviously a little bit different" to deciding to "change a midfield player" because it is "hard to start one game for them then not the next."

The German warned journalists not to read too much of who starts against Hull, insisting his decision is "not a final one" and "doesn't mean" that they will "go like through the next five years or something."

He acknowledged that the "view of this" is different in comparison to selection choices in other positions, but insisted that it is a decision "on a very high level" of difficulty for him because he is "really happy" with Karius and Mignolet.

Klopp said that his decision will be based on "the player" himself rather than a comparison "against another player" which he believes is "always the same" way in which he makes similar decisions.

Reds boss: Nothing has happened yet to spark title talk 

Liverpool enter the game this weekend hoping to secure a fourth straight victory in all competitions after wins over Leicester City, Chelsea and Derby in their last three.

Recent form, in particular the impressive manner of the performances of Klopp's charges, have harboured belief that Liverpool are capable of a title challenge this term.

And while Klopp admitted that he has had a high level of belief and confidence in his squad since pre-season, he said they must focus on meeting their own expectations, rather than others placed on them by those outside of the club.

He insisted he "felt this" back in pre-season but questioned what special means, calling it "the question" as he declared they "feel good" and "feel strong" and that the team "love to work together."

Klopp acknowledged the "problem" facing Liverpool as being the number of "very, very good sides out there" who all play in the Premier League, meaning they "need to be ready" to play "each game" at their "maximum" and all that they "need at the highest level in sport."

However, the Reds boss also warned that there is "no time" for "finding or looking for excuses" and said that his side "want to perform" and have "the biggest expectations on ourselves" which they "have to show" out on the pitch.

He insisted that until now "really nothing has happened" to begin dreaming of a title challenge because they are "talking about a few games, five plus two cup games" and still "need to find stability" and need to "create solutions for each situation in a game."

Klopp revealed that is what he and his players are "still working on" in training, saying that they don't think they have found the solution all the problems they can face in a game because football is "too difficult for this."

He said that while it is "quite a simple game", it is "difficult to win" because opposing teams can all cause "real problems", but said his team are "experienced" in "handling situations like this" and must not "celebrate ourselves."

"It's better to have an optimistic new mood around rather than everything being in doubt," he said. "It is up to us to use this."

Despite the ever-increasing confidence and hope around the club, Klopp insisted that they "have to be ready for the next game" because it is "not about the past" and they "all can improve - the team, the coaches, the manager and the crowd."