Jurgen Klopp has lifted the lid on why he will allow Liverpool’s players not involved in international football this week to be granted a much-needed rest.
That means the likes of James Milner, Emre Can, Loris Karius, Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren, Lucas Leiva and Alberto Moreno will all be given time away from their Melwood training ground – despite being warned by Klopp to ‘maintain their own fitness levels’.
The Reds went top of the Premier League with to a comprehensive 6-1 victory over Watford at the weekend and the squad will now get a deserved break from action.
Liverpool’s high-pressing style and the already intense nature of the Premier League has led Klopp to realise the benefits of allowing his players rest during international breaks.
“I don’t need a break but we won’t have a lot of players here,” Klopp said. “When I came here the players had a few days off. I changed it and said: ‘How can they have three or four days off or something?’
“It was a silly decision. It’s only because I was not used to it. Now we are proper English coaches, we know about the fixtures, the intensity of the next few months. Each possibility for a little break, you have to use. That’s what we have to do.
“They still have a programme — to train and stay fit. Not all of them can go wherever they want because if you’re a bit injured you have to be here.
“But a real training session does not make sense with five or six players. A few days off and then we’ll start again.
“We will try to have a game behind closed doors. The result of that won’t be important but it’s an opportunity for us to give players match time.
“From Sunday or Monday onwards, when the international players start to come back, we will prepare for the next game.”