Jurgen Klopp urges Liverpool to “create an atmosphere” with “attitude” behind closed doors

Jurgen Klopp has spoken of Liverpool’s need to “create our own atmosphere” as they contend with the unique situation of behind closed door games following a friendly on Thursday.

The Reds ramped up their preparations to restart their season with a friendly clash with Championship outfit Blackburn Rovers at Anfield on Thursday afternoon.

It came after the government-sanctioned behind-closed-door friendlies for teams within a 90-minute travelling distance, and it was a convincing win for the Reds as they put six unanswered goals beyond the visitors.

A strong lineup was named but minor knocks to a number of senior players paved the way for the likes of Ki-Jana Hoever, Leighton Clarkson, Jake Cain and Neco Williams to take to the field in the second half.

It was Liverpool’s third outing at Anfield with no fans in attendance, following intra-club games, as they gear up for what is to be normal procedure when the Premier League returns in six days’ time.

And, therefore, the onus is on the Reds to make up for the lack of a fan-generated atmosphere in their own unique way.

“You need to get used to it, but I like it. After three times, it is completely OK,” Klopp told the club’s official website after Thursday’s game.

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - Tuesday, December 10, 2019: Liverpool's Naby Keita celebrates scoring the first goal during the final UEFA Champions League Group E match between FC Salzburg and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I thought before – and I don’t have experience in this area – that it would be really awkward, but we have to create our own atmosphere in the games.

“We have to be lively as well, we have to be animated and stuff like this. Being positive about the things that have happened and so on, that’s how you can create an atmosphere – and it’s what we have to do as well.

“Apart from that, it is Anfield. We don’t have to discuss it all the time, that it is completely different stuff without supporters.

“Football would not be the game [it is] if there were not supporters; we only love it because of the atmosphere and all that stuff – but this is now our situation, so we have to take that, we have to use that and that’s what we try.”

The occasion marked a “really important test” for Liverpool, who had intended for senior players to “go for 45 minutes” only for a “few little issues” to put a stop to such plans, paving the way for some of the club’s young guns to feature.

Sadio Mane, Naby Keita, Takumi Minamino, Joel Matip, Hoever and Clarkson all found the net, the latter of whom received praise from the boss for his “calm” composure and overall impact.

And with just 10 days until Liverpool return to action at Everton on June 21, Klopp remained eager to stress his side’s attitude being up to standard, rather than their overall performance, was of the greatest importance.

“Shape is important, form and things like this are important of course, but it is attitude. It is work-rate. It is things like, ‘are you ready to go for these kind of things?’,” Klopp added.

“In the first game, we don’t have to be football-wise on our highest level, but we need to show that we are ready for competition, that we are ready to defend, that we are ready to find solutions to solve problems or find solutions for difficult situations.

“That’s what we have to be – and I saw that today. The boys really did well and that’s how they’ve looked since we’ve been back – and how they looked before we were away, so [it’s] so far, so good.”