Jurgen Klopp has admitted he is not bothered about “nice guys” but about securing results for Liverpool.
Klopp’s men host Leicester at Anfield on Saturday evening without centre-back Ragnar Klavan, who is missing with a knee problem, while fellow Mamadou Sakho is still not match fit after a turbulent summer.
The Reds boss has admitted everything is “all good” regarding Sakho, despite reports Klopp wanted him to go out on loan before the end of the transfer window.
Sakho was told to accept a temporary move and then return to Liverpool, but the 26-year-old Sakho declined interest from Stoke, West Brom and Besiktas and decided to stay at Anfield.
When asked about his centre-back partnership against the champions, Klopp said: “We have to use the quality of the squad. The different pairs no how to play together, why should I say they are the pair for whole season and then one of them gets injured.
“It’s about bringing quality, they need to perform. It’s not about being a nice guy it’s about getting results for Liverpool.
“We have to make Mama now fit. The situation is you have to make decisions and oyu have to prepare the situation after the window closes. You have to tell the players the truth.
“Not only with Mama. With all of the players. I told them what I think would be the best.
“The squad is what it is. In this moment it is about making Mama fit, which he isn’t after this time. Then we will see what happens.
“Mama knows, and I know. That’s enough.”
🎙 The boss is here for his #LFCvLCFC press conference!
— LFC TV (@LFCTV) September 8, 2016
Sakho was accused of flouting drug rules, before being cleared, and then he was sent home from the club’s pre-season tour for a poor time-keeping and a poor attitude, but Klopp has hinted the slate has been wiped clean.
“It’s not a problem. You don’t have to gain my trust. It’s a situation we have spoken about before.
“He didn’t play football for a long time, he needs to play football. That’s difficult here because the other players are fit.
“We had to speak about it before the window closes – that’s what I did. I’m not silly enough to forget good performances.
“Now it’s all good. We have one more centre-half. But for him it needs time. I don’t make the rules.”
Ahead of Saturday’s tussle with champions Leicester, Klopp, who will have Sadio Mane available, but will be without Emre Can (ankle), warned of a different game to last month’s outing in the 2-0 defeat against Burnley.
“I don’t think we will have 80 percent of the ball – but if it is like this we will be better because we are three or four weeks on from the Burnley situation.
“Their one big strength is the counter-attack. Very direct, it is clear where the ball will come down. You have to prepare for this. They don’t defend that deep.
“Burnley would love to play like Leicester I’m sure. One of their biggest qualities is that they stick to the plan.”