The busy month of January for Liverpool will end with the same opponents as it started with the Reds facing West Ham United in the FA Cup this Saturday.
This will be the 6th game in 13 days for Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp expressed in his pre match interview that it is time to rest some of the first team players for this game with Liverpool already into the League Cup final.
Talking before the game the German manager said that he will field a young side that may not be as in-experienced as the side against Exeter but will surely have some of those players who impressed in both the legs against the League 1 side.
We will make changes but only because we want to win the game. Last FA Cup game v Exeter was great. The boys will give everything.”
Klopp felt that his team worked really hard in the League cup semi-final and felt that some of the players needed some rest at the end of this busy month.
The Stoke game maybe was not our best football ever but we broke records and ran 156km. Stoke had 3km less – so it was intense. “I am fine with this squad. No problem. Only problem has been injuries.”
Klopp also spoke about the various transfers rumors surrounding Anfield but did not give away anything as to whether he will bring in any player at all before the end of this window.
“We are always busy and checking possibilities. If something happens we will see. There’s nothing to say.” Klopp said.”
“We are not here to throw money out of the window, we try to work with what we have.”
“You have to wait, like I have to wait. I have no problem with this. I’m fine with the squad, it was never a problem – it’s all about injuries and the number of games. It doesn’t fit too good. That’s the reason we thought about a few things but only if it makes sense to us.”
Klopp gave an injury update on fan favorite Daniel Sturridge who is still a bit far away from a return. Klopp confirmed that he will be out for atleast another week.
Klopp said, “Everyone in this room knows him better than I did, I’ve seen him train and there’s no doubt about quality. I’m not here to think about what will happen in the future, so we work together with Daniel on his fitness. He’s a very good player. He is not available so we don’t have to talk too much about him, he is not here for tomorrow or Leicester.”
Klopp also spoke about the previous few games and the performances of his squad in the tight finishes. He felt that the confidence in the dressing room is high and that they can achieve their season goals if they can improve on their performances.
“The team has shown in past few weeks that they don’t give up in games.”
“We are still a good team, we understand each other, we have no problems. They like each other and work hard, but we have to bring those three days [of training] on to the pitch. At the moment, we feel much better than if we lost both games.”
Speaking about the number of games and the need to play youngsters for this fixture against West Ham, Klopp said, “To play every 3 days is difficult. What can I say? You say get a bigger squad. But you can’t buy as then injured players come back.”
In other fitness update, Klopp said that Lovren who was on the bench against Stoke will be back in contention for a place along-side Steven Caulker who get his first chance as a center back against West Ham.
He said, “Lovren is back, Caulker is available. Coutinho is close to returning to fitness, still doing rehab. Clyne is possible. Much better.”
Finally the manager was full of praise for his skipper Jordan Henderson who has been ruled out for this fixture on the back of his foot injury. He felt that the England international was still in pain and has been doing really well to perform as he has been doing for the club.
He said, “He did really well for the team. Long-term injury and still having pain.”