Jurgen Klopp let his honest feelings be known about press conferences after his latest grilling ahead of Real Madrid on Wednesday night.
Liverpool find themselves 3-1 down from the Champions League first leg with Klopp hailing one of Vinicius Junior’s’ strikes “genius”. Vinicius controlled a brilliant long ball on his chest before firing past Alisson. It was a goal Klopp has claimed was almost impossible to stop, but he also admitted the other goals could have been prevented. And he is looking for an improved defensive display at Anfield as the Reds look to overturn the 2-0 deficit.
“It was a pleasure,” concluded Klopp after meeting the media on Tuesday. It looked far from it for the German boss as he grimaced and smiled his way through the 25-minute briefing.
Asked if it was time for Liverpool to show themselves, Klopp said: “That is the plan,” before the German opened up about meeting the media.
“I have no problem with press conferences. But the only way they can be influential is in a negative way,” he said.
“I give some phrases, headlines, whatever and I do not like that or need that.
“I am already completely in the mood for this game and whatever we want from this tie we have to show tomorrow on the pitch and not in the press conference. Not me here or Robbo later, it’s all about tomorrow night on the pitch. That is it.”
Klopp then denied his side looked nervous in Madrid.
Klopp said: “Were we nervous? last week? I don’t know. We have to stop them by doing the things we are good at 100%. Then it becomes level and it becomes a much more exciting game. The plan is to try to win the football game.
“What we have to do is pretty clear. Everyone who saw us knows what we have to do. Playing like our best selves.
“To beat them you have to defend them on your highest level. The first goal they scored against us was a good example of it. The pass, touch and finish was absolutely incredible. We have to defend, then we have to create.
“We cannot take comebacks for granted, especially with no crowd. We will create our own atmosphere again – we will prepare us from an atmosphere point of view.
Real Madrid pair get Klopp praise
“Football is football – anything is possible – we know that. We speak about results, but for me, the performance is much more important. We have to play like ourselves. It’s important to defend on your highest level with the ability Madrid have.”
The Reds boss was asked about Vinicius and Toni Kroos, the man who delivered the inch-perfect long ball to set up Madrid’s opener.
“I was impressed, not surprised. He is an outstanding talent. Everyone knew it before but he has improved. We have to avoid the passes in his direction which is a big task,” said Klopp about the former.
While he also paid tribute to the experienced Kroos: ” One of the biggest talents in German football for a long, long, long time. A great player since he was really young. It was a brave mood to Real Madrid. He’s not really old – he has a lot more to come. Quite a nice person as well.
“I have admired him for years. A wonderful footballer. He can change the game from really deep areas. A nice package.”