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“I love this football team” – 4 key things from Klopp’s post-Newcastle press conference

Jurgen Klopp had plenty of praise to pass around after watching his side pick up their 25th league win over the season thanks to Naby Keita‘s strike at Newcastle.

Here are four key things from the manager after his side’s valuable win at Newcastle:

 

‘Outstanding football game’

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 30, 2022: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Newcastle United FC and Liverpool FC at St James' Park. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The trip to St James’ Park was long seen as a potential banana skin and while all signs pointed to Newcastle having an enjoyable afternoon, Klopp was delighted his side had another thing to say about it.

“It was incredibly difficult for the boys today, to be honest,” Klopp said.

“We played two-and-a-half days ago, coming here team in form, six home wins on the bounce, great weather, everyone in a good mood – everything prepared for another home win.

“The only group who wanted to avoid that were my players, it was an outstanding football game.”

 

‘Should’ve seen their faces’

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 30, 2022: Liverpool's Naby Keita celebrates after scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Newcastle United FC and Liverpool FC at St James' Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

To compete across four competitions and to the death in each requires every player to play their part, Liverpool have had that in abundance.

After five changes on Saturday, it again came to the fore and the manager was quick to laud the quality and character of all his players.

“It’s the only reason we are where we are. It’s the only reason,” Klopp said.

“The boy’s buy-in on the situation completely and the boys who didn’t come on today, you should’ve seen their faces on the bench when we had the final whistle.

“The group is exceptional. Exceptionally talented and a really good character.”

 

Milner’s influence

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 30, 2022: Newcastle United's Bruno Guimarães is tackled by Liverpool's James Milner during the FA Premier League match between Newcastle United FC and Liverpool FC at St James' Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

James Milner made only his 13th start of the season at his former home and duly impressed, leading to plenty of praise from Klopp for the role he takes up in this team.

“Milly is Milly, is incredibly important for us. People talk about the dressing room [influence] and yes, he is really helpful there.

“Especially with a manager who is not a native speaker.

“But on the pitch as well, he played a super game. I don’t want to take anything away from him but I loved Naby as well and Hendo in the No. 6.

“It’s difficult to be fitter than Milly and he’s a role model.

“I told him and I can tell the whole world: Nothing we would have achieved in the last few years would have happened without James Milner, if he’s on the pitch or not.

“He sets the standards in a lot of ways that others can’t. Educated all of us.”

 

Illness hits three

PRESTON, ENGLAND - Wednesday, October 27, 2021: Liverpool's Divock Origi (L) celebrates with team-mate Kostas Tsimikas after scoring the second goal during the English Football League Cup 4th Round match between Preston North End FC and Liverpool FC at Deepdale. Liverpool won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Both Curtis Jones and Kostas Tsimikas were absent in midweek due to illness, not Covid, and Divock Origi then fell to the same fate for Saturday’s game.

Klopp’s hope now is that it doesn’t continue to spread throughout the squad.

Divock Origi had a little bit of vomiting and stomach problems, we had that before with Curtis and Kostas.

“We have to make sure it’s not going around, that’s why he was not involved.”

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