Jones “super fresh,” Anfield message & draw reaction – 5 things from Klopp’s press conference

Jurgen Klopp left little doubt over what he wants from Anfield moving forward, as he praised the growth of Curtis Jones and looked ahead to the semi-final after the 5-1 win over West Ham.

Here are five key points from the manager’s post-match press conference…

Jones shows his growth

Curtis Jones was a standout in midfield, scoring a brace and proving fundamental in the convincing win, but it was his speed with the ball that left the biggest impression on his manager.

“He looked even better [than the last six months], he added in his game the acceleration with the ball which is really important,” Klopp assessed.

“It’s an important thing for him to do, a really good game and looked super fresh – which is not surprising because he didn’t play thousands of minutes in the last weeks.”

Has he played himself into the XI for Saturday?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 20, 2023: Liverpool's Curtis Jones (L) celebrates with team-mate Darwin Núñez after scoring the second goal, the club's 500th in the competition. during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

An evening to enjoy, from start to finish

Unlike Sunday, there was no frustration in sight as the Reds put five beyond West Ham to cruise to victory, and it came off the back of everyone finding form.

“We had a lot of really good performances tonight, I have to say,” Klopp said. “Individually, the performances were, in general, probably better than the game on Sunday.

“Tonight it was one of those nights where you really could enjoy the game from start to finish, a really good performance in all departments.”

The goals were all beautifully created too, let’s hope for more of them on Saturday!

“We need Anfield”

Speaking of the weekend, Klopp made sure to let supporters know that “we need Anfield” and that if you’re not ready to show up, find someone else for your ticket.

Blunt words, but it came after Klopp had to urge the lower Main Stand to get involved in the first half.

He explained: “I thought in the first half a little bit when the boys played really exceptional, I was not overly happy, I have to say, with the atmosphere behind me.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 20, 2023: Players line-up before the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I asked people, ‘what do you want?’ We changed a lot of things, we dominated West Ham like crazy, we missed chances.

“We need Anfield on their toes from the first second, without me having an argument with the opposition coach or whatever. We need you from the first second,” he said looking straight at the camera.

“If you really want, if it’s too much football in December, I don’t know, sorry, we have to play as well, but if you are not in the right shape, give your ticket to someone else.”

But it’s not just the fans that have to ‘step up’

Arsenal will have enjoyed the week off while Liverpool played this match against the Hammers, and Klopp knows his side need to find another level to topple Mikel Arteta’s side.

“We’re just trying to be as good as we can with all our human weaknesses,” he said.

“For Saturday, we have to step up another 40, 50, 60 percent. Arsenal is incredibly strong and difficult opponent, we just try to make sure we’re difficult as well.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 3, 2023: Liverpool's Wataru Endo (R) celebrates with team-mate Darwin Núñez after scoring the third goal to equalise and level the score at 3-3 during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. Liverpol won 4-3. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A ‘spectacular’ semi-final ahead

The Reds will meet Fulham in the semi-final, and the draw took place during the press conference, and Klopp’s first reaction was it is going to be “spectacular” if the recent 4-3 win is anything to go by!

“It looks like it will be two spectacular games! The last one was pretty spectacular,” the manager said.

“Funnily enough, David and I spoke about that before the game, Fulham is extremely well set up – which we felt here.

“Really strong, really good team and they want to go to Wembley as well.”

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