Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has given his backing to forward Roberto Firmino after his Anfield goal drought continued.
The Brazil international has not scored in the Premier League at home since March last year. And his strike against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League four months ago is his only goal in front of the Kop since then.
He came closest to ending that run when he beat goalkeeper Nick Pope – not an easy task considering the Burnley goalkeeper’s form in the 1-1 draw which ended Liverpool’s 100 per cent home record – but hit the post to be denied the opportunity to double the Reds’ lead.
The 28-year-old has just 11 goals this season, compared to Mohamed Salah (23) and Sadio Mane (20). He has not scored in the league since January.
“It cannot become a psychological problem because Bobby played an outstanding game. We don’t judge him,” said Klopp after the champions dropped their first points at Anfield since January 2019.
“We just don’t think about it. It’s not important who scores. We need Bobby for other things, we need Bobby in exactly the spaces where he was. We need him as a link-up for all the other things.
“The team only have chances in other positions because Bobby plays the way he plays. And he will score, there is absolutely no doubt about it.
“We are not worried at all about that because he played an outstanding game. He was involved in so many decisive situations.”
Despite seeing their 24-match winning run of home league matches end, meaning the Reds must now win their final three games to beat Manchester City’s Premier League record points total of 100, Klopp saw plenty of positives.
Youngsters impress at Anfield
He handed academy graduate and local-born Curtis Jones his full Premier League debut. In addition fellow 19-year-old Neco Williams made his first league start at Anfield in order to rest Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Jones, in particular, grew in confidence during his 69-minute spell. He probably should have scored at the Kop end for the second match in a row.
But like the more experienced Firmino, Klopp is putting no pressure on the youngsters.
“At the moment if they make a mistake then they are still young and they are human beings. That makes it even more tricky,” he said.
“It is not that they have to make incredible big steps. I am not sure how high the stakes are.
“Young players have so much time on their hands that they really can improve. They don’t have the pressure, especially not from us, so if they use the time the future is beautiful for them.”