Despite his side being in the midst of a run of 10 games inside a month and with a paper thin squad decimated by injuries, Jurgen Klopp insists his players aren’t physically tired.
The Reds played at Sunderland on Wednesday night, then the early kick-off game at West Ham on Saturday lunchtime – giving Klopp’s side two days less preparation than Slaven Bilic’s.
But Klopp says there was no physical problem in the 2-0 defeat at Upton Park. “I couldn’t see today a physical problem, really,” Klopp said.
“Nobody today was tired. We were fit enough to go 93 minutes, so that is not a problem. Again, the game woke us up.”
Liverpool now have two cup games this week, away to Stoke City on Tuesday night then away to Exeter City on Friday night. It’s a relentless fixture list, not aided by some ridiculous TV scheduling.
“Sure it is intensive, but physical problems come when you get tired in the mind, then the body follows,” said Klopp.
After those two cup games, Liverpool then host Arsenal and Man United inside a week.
Klopp’s side will then have a week without a midweek game for the first time since before the Leicester and Watford games.
With Daniel Sturridge, Martin Skrtel, James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Divock Origi and Jordan Rossiter currently sidelined, along with long-term absentees Danny Ings, Jon Flanagan and Joe Gomez, many players are being asked to start every game.
Alberto Moreno and Nathaniel Clyne have started almost every game since Klopp arrived at the club three months ago – largely due to lack of cover at full-back, while Emre Can has started in all-but-one game since Klopp took charge.
Adam Lallana has featured in every game since Klopp arrived, five times as a sub, the rest from the start.
Competing on four fronts but having such a small squad, plus a lengthy injury list – having picked up 10 hamstring injuries since Klopp arrived – must have an affect eventually, despite what Klopp says.
With no cover at full-back, no other forwards than Christian Benteke, and very few options elsewhere, the Liverpool team picks itself at the moment, with many players appearing to be struggling.
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