Injuries, midfield & Phillips’ future – 5 things from Klopp’s pre-Brighton press conference

Jurgen Klopp provided an update on when Liverpool’s injured players could return and discussed the future of Nat Phillips in his pre-Brighton press conference on Friday morning.

Here are the key points from Klopp’s latest media duties…


“Everything” must change from previous Brighton performance

BRIGHTON & HOVE, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 14, 2023: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp looks dejected after the FA Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Liverpool FC at the Falmer Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It’s been a fortnight since Liverpool fell to an embarrassing 3-0 defeat to Brighton at the Amex, so what do they need to change this time?

“Everything!” Klopp told reporters.

“It’s still the worst game I ever saw…

“We had intense talks after the Brighton game. We had to change immediately and we did. The win at Wolves looked like two different sports…

“We won’t do a meeting where we show all the bad points from Brighton. It would be a proper horror show.”


“Couple of weeks” until injured players can return

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, October 11, 2022: Liverpool's Diogo Jota during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 4 game between Glasgow Rangers FC and Liverpool FC. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

The boss provided an extensive injury update.

No new returnees yet, but Klopp says Diogo Jota, Virgil van Dijk, Roberto Firmino and Arthur will hopefully be able to return to training in “a couple of weeks,” but Luis Diaz will take “longer.”

Fabio Carvalho is expected miss the trip to Brighton with “a little thing,” despite the fact he could return to training on Friday.

James Milner missed one training session this week but is expected to be fine, while Phillips is a doubt having suffered with “a proper, proper cold” in recent days.


Same midfield trio?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 21, 2023: Liverpool's Stefan Bajcetic is shown a yellow card during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp has selected Stefan Bajcetic, Naby Keita and Thiago in midfield for Liverpool’s last two matches and was asked to explain what he liked about that trio.

“We had injuries after Brighton and it was clear we had to change anyway, then I liked the mix of offensive and defensive readiness,” he said.

When quizzed on his team selection for this match, he boss suggested that the time between matches should enable him to pick another strong XI.


Still no word on rearranged fixtures

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 21, 2023: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez (L) challenges for a header with Chelsea's Benoît Badiashile during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

One reporter asked Klopp about the benefits of an FA Cup run, which saw him move on to the subject of Liverpool’s “tight” schedule.

The Reds’ Premier League encounters at home to Wolves and away to Chelsea, which were were postponed earlier this season, are still yet to be rearranged.

“In our tight schedule, I’m not sure FA Cup should have a weekend,” Klopp claimed.

“We still have two games in hand that somebody has to fit in somewhere, no news about that yet. No clue when that would happen.”


Phillips to depart?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, July 31, 2022: Liverpool's Nathaniel Phillips during the pre-match warm-up before a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and RC Strasbourg Alsace at Anfield. Strasbourg won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The last question of the press conference saw Klopp quizzed on the future of Phillips.

Fellow centre-back Rhys Williams returned from a loan spell at Blackpool earlier this week, and the boss certainly didn’t rule out the possibility of Phillips moving on.

“It depends on the offers,” he said.

“We have to be prepared for everything. We’ll see.”

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