Jurgen Klopp has told his new Liverpool players he wants to see ‘more bravery’ and “more fun in their eyes”.
The new Reds boss was holding his pre-match press conference ahead of his first game in charge, away at Tottenham on Saturday.
Klopp is only now getting to work with his full squad following the international break, and the German coach has been trying to rally his new troops as they seek to recover from an inconsistent start to the season under the now departed Brendan Rodgers.
Klopp said: “Everything is different at the moment. We want to look different, for sure.
“That’s what I expect, that we can see that we have worked together. I want to see more bravery, more fun in their eyes, I want to see that they like what they do.
“I saw it in the week, and if this is different, then maybe we can be very well organised and not just think about offensive things. I know that we have not until now had enough goals, but you have to feel stability and that can make you free for offensive play and creativity.”
Jürgen: “I told the players of course I’m here because #LFC is a great club but also because of them.”
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 15, 2015
When asked what he meant by ‘bravery’, Klopp elaborated: “The bravery is to make mistakes.
“This is a fantastic game, football. We all love it because it can be spectacular, fast, hard. “But it doesn’t work without faults. We all, as human beings, think about them, but it’s not important to think about how many mistakes you make.
“You can always get better, if you accept that mistakes will happen. It’s not the biggest thing in the world.
“We have to be compact, close together tactically, and if you are close then you have options to play with and who can support you. You don’t always have to try the most risky ball if you are compact.
“You have to run, to fight, until the moment, and then ‘bang’ you take it.”
Klopp was asked how he has found his first week on Merseyside.
“It’s different,” he said. “Things I have learned this week include trying to do some things for my private situation, but obviously the paparazzi know where I am going before I do.
“I have been here, talking to many people, and trying to understand how LFC works, and how it is. It’s a big step, and everything is ok until now.
“We have had some problems with players that were with national teams, that is normal. It’s always nervous waiting for the players to get some information. We had ‘not perfect’ information in terms of young Joe Gomez.
“We’ve had some good training, the boys are willing to listen, to understand what we want. It’s not the time to change things, only in the right way. That’s what we’ve tried to do.”
Klopp confirmed the fears that Gomez had suffered an ACL injury but offered encouragement to the young defender.
“Gomez came here and I met him for the first time. What a wonderful young boy, tall and muscular. But he has an ACL injury. Now we have to make further diagnoses, and we will see when he gets operated on. He can count the days until he’s back.
“He’s a young guy. It was not the best day in his life, but I am pretty good at waiting for young players. This is his home.
“Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino are back on the pitch, not team training but better and better. I don’t know exactly when they will come back, but I hope to see next week them in team training. Hopefully it can go quick, and they will be ready for playing.
“For sure, not Saturday, and I don’t think Thursday. For next Sunday, ask me next week!”