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Covid update & fixture plea – 5 key things from Klopp’s pre-Leicester press conference

Jurgen Klopp provided an update on the Covid status of the club, provided another passionate response to the schedule and substitute rule and praised the academy on Monday.

Here are five key points from the manager as he previewed the trip to Leicester:

 

4 faces back but 3 new cases for the club

LEEDS, ENGLAND - Sunday, September 12, 2021: Liverpool's captain Virgil van Dijk (R) and Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' during the FA Premier League match between Leeds United FC and Liverpool FC at Elland Road. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho, Curtis Jones and Thiago are all back in training after their isolation period ended but one young player and two staff members have since tested positive.

“The boys who had to isolate are back. Fabinho, Virgil van Dijk, Curtis Jones and Thiago. Thiago was the latest, he trained with the first team again yesterday.

“One young player and two staff [members] are now isolating. But apart from that we are fine.”

Some good news mixed in with not so welcome news.

 

Reds wanted to play Boxing Day

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 2, 2018: Two Liverpool supporters wearing Christmas jumpers featuring Jürgen Klopp "Merry Kloppmas" before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC at Anfield, the 232nd Merseyside Derby. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

Despite the lazy rhetoric that Klopp will have enjoyed the fact that his team had Boxing Day off, it was the contrary, but Klopp continued his fight against the ridiculous schedule.

“The situation should not be like this. We can discuss it every year. We wanted to play and could play on Boxing Day but it was because of Leeds so we accept that.

“But playing on the 26th and 28th is just not right. I say it because it’s true. I think we can find solutions for that, it’s not that difficult.

“26th to 29th, where is the problem in that? We all want to play on Boxing Day, everyone one loves it but we will not stop discussing it because if we don’t, it stays like this. The players need help.”

 

‘A real problem’…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 22, 2021: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson is replaced by substitute Naby Keita during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp has long been an advocate for player welfare and the five substitution rule is no exception, especially in the face of Covid and an ever-increasing number of games.

“You need 14 votes to change it. Some players definitely have the issue, and it is decided by other teams. That is a real problem,” Klopp said.

“It is the right decision [to have five subs] because you bring players back after Covid or injury, and they have to play immediately. Then they go out again because you cannot get them off after 60 minutes.

“The best league in the world, and the most intense league in the world, is the only league in Europe – and maybe the world, I don’t know – still with three subs. And that’s not right.”

 

One of the ‘best away performances’

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - Thursday, December 26, 2019: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates scoring the fourth goal during the FA Premier League match between Leicester City FC and Liverpool FC at the King Power Stadium. Liverpool won 4-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Boxing Day 2019, a 4-0 win at Leicester just days after returning from Qatar – it was a special one for Liverpool and in Klopp’s eye, it was one of the “best away performances” of his reign.

“After we came back from Qatar we had absolutely no idea how we will deal with that intensity because we played two games there in a middle of a very intense period, different climates.

“You have no idea how the boys will react but the reaction was absolutely special.

“It was one of the best away performances we produced since I am here, it was outstanding.”

While Covid has been a hurdle to clear this time around, the manager insisted we “should not compare” to Tuesday’s game but there’s no question that Liverpool “will fight” for all three points.

 

Praise for the academy talent

NORWICH, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 21, 2021: Liverpool's Tyler Morton (L) and Kaide Gordon (R) applaud the travelling supporters after the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between Norwich City FC and Liverpool FC at Carrow Road. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool have had six academy players make their debut so far this season and Klopp was full of praise for the efforts of all those at the academy that help make it possible.

“We are very thankful towards the academy that they produce these kind of guys,” Klopp said.

“The area were are living in gives you a specific character, education as well so they are not only good footballers they are really good boys as well.”

Tyler Morton, Kaide Gordon, Conor Bradley, Owen Beck, Harvey Blair and Max Woltman are the ones to have earned their first senior appearance thus far in 2021/22.

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