world soccer 31.1.2018 08:40 am

Klopp relieved as Liverpool bounce back

Klopp relieved as Liverpool bounce back

Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool have got their season “back on track” after a 3-0 victory over Huddersfield Town.

The Reds had stuttered recently with a defeat to Premier League strugglers Swansea City and an FA Cup exit at the hands of West Bromwich Albion.

However, Klopp’s side clinically sealed the points at the John Smith’s Stadium on Tuesday thanks to first-half goals from Emre Can and Roberto Firmino before Mohamed Salah converted a late penalty.

Liverpool consolidated their grip on fourth place and have a five-point cushion on fifth-placed Tottenham, who face Manchester United on Wednesday, in the race to qualify for the Champions League.

“Coming back on track is the most important thing,” Klopp said. “And now we have a few days to prepare for another difficult game against Tottenham.

“That was the reaction we needed to show. It was not brilliant, not the best game we have played so far but it was deserved.

“I think the best thing we did apart from scoring was our counter-pressing and defending situations when Huddersfield won the ball.

“We had more moments than three goals but it was difficult to play because they defended well.

“It was not a brilliant performance, but it was very mature and exactly what we needed at the right moment.

“I would love to come here again because it is a game where we don’t have to fly and can get here by bus! So I hope they stay in the league.”

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson made his first appearance since December and Klopp praised the midfielder’s performance on his return.

“Jordan Henderson is a very good footballer,” Klopp explained. “He is an England national player and our skipper and maybe the skipper of England.

“How can he not be a brilliant player if he’s at Liverpool? If someone does not see his value what can I do? I am happy that he is back.”

– No Ings move –

Klopp also noted the professionalism shown by Liverpool midfielder Can, who is out of contract at the end of the season.

Juventus have been strongly linked with the Germany international, but Klopp revealed he has no qualms about selecting Can despite the impasse over a new deal.

“Sometimes you want to keep a player and sometimes you want to sell a player,” he said.

“As long as people behave like Emre does and delivers, that’s all you want.

“If he goes we shake hands and say goodbye and if he stays we shake hands and say hello again.”

Klopp said he is not expecting a busy end to the transfer window and claimed there was no way that striker Danny Ings would be allowed to leave.

“No chance is Ings on the market, only if I am unconscious!” he added.

Huddersfield manager David Wagner insisted his players will not lose heart despite the defeat.

The Terriers are winless in seven games and only a point above the Premier League relegation zone.

Wagner said: “I see effort, I see commitment and attitude. I see togetherness and everything you need.

“The confidence is not at the highest point if you have a lot of defeats, but the good thing is we don’t like or enjoy this situation and period where we don’t collect points.

“However, we are not surprised and it is not something we haven’t expected so that makes it possible to manage.

“This means we lift our head now, prepare ourselves for Manchester United. A game at Old Trafford which one year ago nobody thought would happen.”

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