SOUVENIR PROGRAMME

Curtis Jones responds to Jurgen Klopp’s cheeky quip on his defending

Jurgen Klopp served up a cheeky quip on Curtis Jones‘ defending earlier in the week, and the midfielder has now responded, citing his “shock” at having to change his game.

Jones has been a key cog in Liverpool’s midfield this season, with Klopp relying heavily on the 23-year-old, who he has praised countless times for setting the standard of his team’s pressing.

“He sets the level,” the manager said at the start of the year after another eye-catching display from the Scouser, and after the win over Norwich there was a specific mention of his defending.

“If Curtis Jones can learn defending, everybody can learn defending!” Klopp proclaimed as he heralded Jones as a role model for the academy.

And after the 4-1 win over Chelsea, it was Jones’ turn to respond to the comments, and he did so in brilliant fashion after Robbie Fowler made mention of Klopp’s cheeky quip to him on TNT Sports.

Jones explained: “I came around the team when I was 17, it wasn’t an easy thing, he (Klopp) was calling me in all the time, we were having chats and he was always saying ‘your time will come’.

“I’m at the point now where my time’s come and I’m taking my chance.

“The defending part of things, I was a young kid who came around the team and the only thing in my head was to score goals.

“I just had that buzz and I wanted to score and assist. And then you come on the main stage and it was half a shock.

“I had to adapt my game a lot, and that’s what I’ve done now, and funnily enough he’s coming out and he’s saying, ‘if I can defend, anyone can’.

“That was never, ever a thing in my mind, but I’m doing it now and I’m happy I’m playing games.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 10, 2024: Liverpool's Curtis Jones celebrates after scoring the first equalising goal during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“The defending part of my game has improved a lot, I’m starting to score goals again and I’m helping the team.”

Jones has developed tremendously in recent years and has matured before our eyes, evolving from a goal-hunting academy player to a balanced first-team regular, as he explained.

Klopp has played a significant role in his development, and the 23-year-old spoke highly of the German, “who means everything” to him.

“He’s like a father not just to me and the team but to the whole of the city, he means a lot,” Jones said.