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No Nunez “worry” & “back to basics” – 5 key things from Klopp’s pre-Rangers press conference

There was plenty of focus on how Liverpool can improve after the stuttering start to the season continued, with Rangers the next opportunity to start an upward trajectory.

Here are five key points from the manager ahead of Tuesday’s game:

 

Confidence talk

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 1, 2022: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The wavering confidence in this side is no secret, it’s night and day from what we witnessed last season but Klopp knows it can happen.

The task for Liverpool now is to fight through it as a team.

“People can ask ‘How are these players not full of confidence?’. Do we think Cristiano Ronaldo is currently at the top of his confidence? It happens to all of us. Lionel Messi last season pretty much the same,” he said.

“We have to work for it. To take the little things, take a step in the right direction and be ready for when it’s back. Being 2-0 is not good for confidence.

“In individual sports, maybe, you can fight yourself through it but in team sport, we all have to do it together. It makes it a bit more complicated.

“When you spot a problem and think you have the solution, you expect the solution to be instant and influential, that’s in football never the case.”

 

“Back to the basics”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 1, 2022: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker complains to the referee after Brighton & Hove Albion's opening goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It hasn’t escaped many that Liverpool are conceding the same goal time and time again, with the same gap open to the opposition as though the team are laying out a red carpet for them.

In the past, the Reds’ intensity has negated these issues but with that currently lacking, Liverpool are far too open and there is now a clear need to “go back to basics.”

“We are conceding now similar goals. We have a brave way of defending but when the timing isn’t there the spaces open up. We closed the gaps before with intensity,” Klopp said.

“They have gone through the same gaps. When the timing in our defending isn’t perfect we’re too open. We have to be more compact.

“Defending is an art, and it worked for us really well for a long time. But when it’s not working out you realise you have to go back to the basics.”

 

No worries for Nunez

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 13, 2022: Liverpool's substitute Darwin Núñez on the bench before the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 2 game between Liverpool FC and AFC Ajax at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Darwin Nunez has started just two games for Liverpool so far this season, against Palace and Everton, and the expectation is that he makes it three on Tuesday.

He has not lit Anfield on fire as of yet but there is no concern from Klopp and co.

“It’s good. Of course he’s still adapting, how players always adapt.

“Players, new players, come in, everybody talks about them and wants them to shine immediately. That happens from time to time and sometimes not.

“Only yesterday we had a long talk – with Pep Lijnders, because my Spanish or Portuguese is still not better – and we just told him ‘we are completely calm’.

“So it’s really important in our situation now not starting to worry – and he’s not looking like he’s worrying or whatever.”

 

Perez and the Super League

13.09.2011, Sportski Park Mladost, CRO, Athletics Meeting, IAAF World Challenge, Zagreb 2011, im Bild Florentino Perez // during Athletics Meeting, IAAF World Challenge, Zagreb 2011 at Sportski Park Mlados in Zagreb Croatia on 13/09/2011. EXPA Pictures © 2011, PhotoCredit: EXPA/ nph/ Pixsell +++++ ATTENTION - OUT OF GERMANY/(GER), CROATIA/(CRO), BELGIAN/(BEL) +++++

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has been back in the headlines peddling his lines about the Super League and citing the lack of meetings with Liverpool as a problem that needs to be addressed.

He’s not letting the idea go but while he takes about European competitions, Klopp spoke of a different way to improve football.

“I have no opinion about it, I’m not interested,” Klopp said of Perez’s latest comments.

“I think we should play less games to improve football, give teams more time to train, but, how I said, no opinion.”

 

A reunion with Davies

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 9, 2021: Liverpool's Ben Davies applauds the supporters after a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Club Atlético Osasuna at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Davies left Anfield this summer in a deal worth up to £4 million, and he could now find himself lining up against Liverpool in the Champions League.

With injuries in defence, a spot has opened up at centre-back and Davies could well partner Connor Goldson on Tuesday – not how he would’ve imagined his competitive Anfield bow.

“Ben is a really good player,” Klopp said when asked about the 27-year-old. “He was here, a good defender – it didn’t work out here but that doesn’t make him a bad player. He is a really good boy.”

Ex-Red Ryan Kent is also expected to start.