Jurgen Klopp has hinted he may be forced into making changes for Liverpool’s clash at Southampton and has offered an update on Jon Flanagan’s contract talks at Anfield.
The Reds, in Klopp’s own words, “played at a high intensity” as they secured a 1-1 draw against Manchester United in the Europa League, but face a very different prospect in Sunday’s Premier League match at Southampton.
Liverpool put in arguably their best display under the German’s reign when putting Saints to the sword 6-1 in the Capital One Cup earlier this season, and Klopp admits his men must produce a similar effort to claim another win at St Mary’s.
Addressing the media on Friday, Klopp recalled: “It [the 6-1 win] was a perfect night for us at Southampton last time. But they are a really good side and we need to be at 100%.”
Klopp was asked if he’s considering wholesale changes at St Mary’s to freshen up his side and said: “If it would help, maybe I would do it. But it’s only Southampton and then a two week break when all the players are around the world.
“It was intensive yesterday [at Old Trafford] , so we need to figure out who will be available to play.
“And then hopefully (after the national break) they all come back healthy. It’s an intensive time for the players.
“We try to do our best and get the right result. We have to carry on this way. To play like this, a possession team with a high rhythm and intensive style, then we can get a few points.”
The match will pit Klopp against Ronald Koeman once again and the German admits he’s glad he never had to face the Saints boss as a player.
“Please don’t compare,” Klopp said when asked if his own playing career echoed that of Koeman’s. “The best news is I don’t have to play against Ronald, our sides play each other!”
Moreno injury update
One of those players who faces a late check is Alberto Moreno, who injured a hamstring in training on Wednesday and missed out at Old Trafford.
Klopp said of the Spaniard: “We are waiting on the scan. We saw nothing in scan which is good. But Alberto is a player who doesn’t usually feel pain.”
One player whose improvement has impressed Klopp is Dejan Lovren and the manager said of the Serbian: “I saw in his eyes when I came here he wasn’t in best situation. But I remember his first game v Dortmund. He was outstanding.”
Klopp, however, insists Martin Skrtel remains in his thinking after admitting he’s been impressed by the Slovakian’s attitude: “I don’t want to forget Martin Skrtel,” he added. “He has a big passion and travelled six hours to play for the U21s.
“[Kolo] Toure has played very well, he’s a real role model. Lucas played perfect in this position as well.”
Klopp on Flanagan deal
One player who is close to signing a new three-year deal is Flanagan and Klopp said of the talks: “I was a little bit involved in the negotiations. Of course we are all happy. It’s good for us but better for Flanno.
“There are a lot of full-backs in the world but not many Scousers and not many who have come back from this sort of injury. I was involved in the decision to offer him a new contract. How long the contract is, things like that.”
Klopp asked whether he is involved in other contract decisions and laughed: “In all!”