3 injury issues & clear answer on exit – 3 key points from Jurgen Klopp’s press conference

After Liverpool lost to Man United in extra time at Old Trafford, Jurgen Klopp looked ahead to the international break and gave us news on three new fitness issues.

Here are three key points from Klopp’s post-match conference.

One game too many?

Klopp acknowledged that United started the game better, and highlighted the effect of the fixture list on his players:

“That was the first time I saw my team really struggling (physically). That’s how it is, we played a lot of football recently. United fought really hard as well, both teams really understood the importance of the game and the importance of the competition.”

Nevertheless, the manager was happy with his team’s performance, but “not the result,” and rued missed chances.

“The first time we got rhythm, we looked really good, absolutely deserved to be 2-1 up. Exceptional in the second half, but we didn’t finish the game off. They get the equaliser and then it’s really hard for us.”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 17, 2024: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez (L) and captain Virgil van Dijk look dejected after the FA Cup Quarter-Final match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. Man Utd won 4-3 in extra-time. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

In an end-to-end, physical battle, it’s clear to the boss that Liverpool’s heavy legs proved decisive.

Why Jurgen is leaving

One reporter asked if the emotionally draining nature of the defeat was partly why Klopp has decided to step down this summer. The manager was clear in his reponse, saying:

“It’s nothing to do with that.

“We can talk about my situation as much as you want, I just can’t change my answer. Maybe I can say it in German and you can translate – although I’m not sure that’s any better.

“I love absolutely everything about the things I do. But I need to be on my top game to do it how I do it.”

Don’t expect to hear anything other than this kind of answer, no matter how many times he is pressed on his exit.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 17, 2024: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp waves to the supporters after the FA Cup Quarter-Final match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

International break next

Klopp circled back to the physical demands on his players ahead of the international break, sending a clear message to their national team managers.

“The boys play all the time. Today they have to play extra time as well.

“I think most of the boys have friendlies now. I know their managers want them in the best possible shape in the summer for Copa (America) or Euros.

“So I hope they don’t have to play 90 minutes twice now, but it’s not in my hands. Let’s just hope everyone comes back in a good shape.”

The boss also said after the match that “Lucho felt his groin, Darwin [his] hamstring and Cody twisted his ankle. They play again in four or five days, it’s crazy.”

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