Jurgen Klopp admits he is “not a specialist,” but he believes the Premier League bubble is safer than most and is hopeful the season will not require a ‘circuit-breaker’.
The Premier League has seen two fixtures postponed in the last week, with Everton vs. Man City and Tottenham vs. Fulham called off following a spike in COVID-19 cases at City and Fulham.
This follows a rise in positive tests across the UK, with lockdown measures becoming stricter on New Year’s Eve as many areas entered either Tier 3 or Tier 4.
Liverpool is now in Tier 3, which ensures there will be no supporters at Anfield for the upcoming clash with Man United on January 17, as previously expected.
There have been suggestions that the Premier League would benefit from a two-week break, to allow cases to settle, with West Brom manager Sam Allardyce in favour and United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opposed.
From the league’s perspective, the focus is on persevering with the fixture list, with a Premier League statement explaining on Wednesday that the board has “full confidence in its COVID-19 protocols.”
Klopp subscribes to this belief, with the Reds manager telling reporters: “I think really we can carry on.”
“I’m not a specialist, we all know that. We all try to do our best to keep the competition going, and I think it works well,” he said.
“We knew before that in the winter there would probably be a second wave or something, and on top of that, for us as a society, Christmas is a challenge when it’s about self-isolation and stuff like this.
“So I’m not surprised that the numbers go up – and that happens in football as well, if the numbers go slightly up, I think it’s understandable – but we still try everything to keep the boys as safe as possible.
“I think the competition can go on, and I think it’s important as well, because people want to watch it.
“And we are, in this case, not part of the society. We usually live isolated, go to the training ground and stuff like this, so I think really we can carry on.
“But I’m not a specialist and I respect all the decisions made in the next few weeks.”
Liverpool have already seen a number of COVID-19 cases throughout the first-team squad this season, with Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Thiago, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Xherdan Shaqiri, Naby Keita and Kostas Tsimikas among those reported to have tested positive.
There have been no cases to emerge since Salah’s positive while in Egypt in mid-November, with Liverpool following strict protocols in training, at games and at home.