Jurgen Klopp: Reds need focus despite 100% record
Mike Pennington via Geograph

Jurgen Klopp: Reds need focus despite 100% record

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was speaking to the media to preview the Reds fixture against Southampton on Saturday afternoon.

Matthew Watkinson

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds have had a blistering start to the season; clinching victory in midweek against PSG meant Liverpool have won six on the bounce, but the Liverpool boss calls for focus against Southampton with the Reds firmly grounded.

Klopp told the media on Friday: "We had a good start. That's all. It doesn't change our mindset. [We are] still focused on the next job to do."

He continued: "My view on football will never be different. I love that game, that's all. There are a lot of better managers than me out there, but that's never stopped me from doing my best."

Salah situation ‘normal’

Mohamed Salah is seemingly yet to pick up where he left off last season with the record breaking Egyptian mustering just two goals so far this term. Klopp was keen to jump to Salah’s defence pointing out that goals are not everything.

He said: "On the defensive side, the last two games were outstanding. That says everything about him. It's a completely normal situation for an offensive player that there are times when he doesn't score."

"Of course, everybody expects [the same as last year]. We don't. What did he get [in his first six games] last season? Three. And two in six this season? Wow, that's a crisis!".

Klopp added: "He needed time last year, like we all needed time. And he will take time this season as well."

Liverpool have been regarded as wasteful so far this season, which is remarkable with the Reds picking up maximum points and Klopp is keen to decide games ‘more often’ after a close call on Tuesday in the Champions League.

Klopp said: "We were a bit lucky that Bobby decided the game [on Tuesday]. It was deserved, but that's not a sign for anything. It happened. We have to make sure that we decide games much more often. The next one is the most difficult."

On whether the quick turnaround from Champions League midweek will have an effect, Klopp said: "Tuesday-Saturday should not be a problem. It will not be a problem focus-wise, I am pretty sure. The people make a difference. We must show we can switch between competitions."

"We have to be constantly 'in' the situation. The mood is as good as the start. If I saw somebody lose a bit of focus, I can be really angry about that. So far nobody gave me the chance to do so, but it still can happen."​

Danny Ings has excelled since arriving at St Mary’s clinching three Premier League goals already this season. The striker had an injury plagued tenure at Anfield and will miss out on a return this Saturday due to the rules in the loan agreement with the Reds.

Klopp on Ings: "It's good that he cannot play. He's in good shape. I'm sure he would like to show that his time at Liverpool was unlucky. But the rules are he cannot play. We follow his games really closely."

Milner revelation no surprise

James Milner has earned his plaudits this season with his tireless performances one of the core reasons why Liverpool sit joint top in what could be a defining season for the Reds. After several man of the match awards, Klopp was keen to address that age is not a concern for the 32-year-old.

Klopp on Milner: "Last year, what was it? Most assists in CL? How can we be surprised by him? In football, 32 can be seen as a massive age. He's still young. His body gives him the opportunity. People say we don't need Jordan Henderson or whatever, then he plays like he played."

"Milner is energetic, lively, likes to cover big distances. It helps us. He can play football, which makes him a pretty valuable player for us."

The 32-year-old epitomises the hard work ethic required to fill a role in Klopp’s midfield, with pressing and defensive work high on the agenda.

On defensive improvement, Klopp said: "More important than the goals you concede is the number of shots against you. If you keep the other team away from your goal, that's good defending. That's what we do most of the time."

Lovren not ready for Saints return

Dejan Lovren returned from an outstanding World Cup with Croatia and has since struggled with an obscure stomach injury. The defender was a core part of Liverpool’s defence last season, but the arrival of Joe Gomez’ form proves competition for places is higher than ever.

Klopp said: "Dejan is close, looks really fit. He's on an OK level, good work from the fitness department. He's not in the squad for the weekend. We will see how soon we can use him again."

Dominic Solanke is also back in training after a concussion, however Divock Origi will be absent with the forward still recovering from an injury caused in the U23 squad. Adam Lallana is "closer and closer" to a return but not out on the pitch yet.

Klopp’s Reds will be looking to extend their flawless six-game winning streak, with Southampton to visit Anfield on Saturday afternoon at 3pm.