New Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is calm over Daniel Sturridge injury ahead of him first Premier League match at Anfield against Southampton. Sturridge was left out of the squad against Tottenham after he collided with Jordon Ibe during training, but Klopp insists Liverpool can improve as a team rather than wait for their main striker to come back.
The 26-year-old also missed Jurgen Klopp’s first game in charge at Anfield against Rubin Kazan in the Europa League, while Belgian international Christian Benteke returned from injury and was brought on in the second half.
“We have the players we need and you will never hear from me: ‘With Sturridge we can do this’ or: ‘With Benteke we can do that’,” he said. “I am really satisfied with the guys we have on the pitch already. I am not saying we don’t need strikers. Sometimes you need a finisher, a guy for the last ball – that is always the same in football – but if for any reason they are not available or not fully fit, then you must make the probability bigger that you can win with the players that you have.”
Brazilian star Roberto Firmino also returned from injury, and featured as a substitute against Rubin Kazan in a 1-1 draw at Anfield. Klopp’s third game in charge of Liverpool will be against Southampton at Anfield, and he will be hoping for his first win as a Liverpool manager, but he insists it’s not an easy job at Liverpool and believes things will only improve.
“It is a hard job but I always knew it would be,” he said. “If I wanted it the easy way then I would have stayed a little longer on holiday. I knew all about the problems Liverpool had and then I was presented with some new ones whenDanny Ings and Joe Gomez became injured but all the rest was completely clear.
“I have watched football for many years and I know it is not easy to do the right things at Liverpool at this moment because the expectations are so big. We should all cool down a bit and understand that it will be hard work and a long journey. In the games I have seen we have taken the next step for sure. There were small things against Rubin Kazan that were better than in the game against Tottenham.
“OK, if you were looking for the fast result it didn’t work but if you wanted development you could find some. That is where we are at the moment. We are not Barcelona or Bayern Munich, making a genius plan for genius players. We have to try to bring out the best in our players and that is what we will do.
“I could see the reaction in the players when Rubin Kazan took the lead. It was only one goal, we were still in the game but they obviously wanted to win 8-0 or something. We were not always calm enough and that is what we have to learn. The defending was most OK, I thought. The offence was often good but not perfect. That is what we need to work on: we need to stay calm and improve our decision-making.”