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Thursday 8 December 2016

Klopp has no issues with Sturridge criticism

Daniel Sturridge. Photo: PA Wire
Daniel Sturridge. Photo: PA Wire

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has no issue with Daniel Sturridge voicing his disappointment at being asked to play out wide and admits he has no intention of fielding him as a winger.

The 26-year-old scored twice in the 5-0 EFL Cup win at Burton on Tuesday but afterwards admitted he was not happy playing out on the flank.

"Of course it's more difficult for me to play wide because I am a centre-forward," Sturridge said.

"I am not saying I am happy to do it, I am saying I have to do a job for the team."

Klopp still sees the striker as one of his main, if not the main, goalscorer in his side but wants him to add more movement and deception to his game.

"The first thing is I don't want to play Daniel as a wide player but of course he can start there and play there but in the decisive moments he needs to be involved in all the finishing situations," said the Reds boss.

"I think both goals (against Burton) he scored inside the box so he was not on the wing in this moment - that is flexible football.

"That is how football works, it is not a fixed position (where you) stay outside and wait until you get the ball - especially not in Daniel's case.

"At the end you need enough players in and around the box for finishing.

"When a striker plays in the centre it makes no sense so you have to change positions.

"Daniel is a very smart player in hiding himself in positions where it is not easy to defend and it is very often in a wing position.

"When he is not involved any more in defending you need a smart striker who takes the centre-half and moves them into a position where they don't feel comfortable.

"It is only a starting position for the next offensive move for my team. We don't have these positions any more where you say, 'You play this all the time', it is normal.

"We have still to work on a lot of things. I know him and when we have talks there is no issue."

Liverpool had a couple of injury worries left over from the Burton match with midfielder Emre Can (ankle) and striker Divock Origi (cramp) unlikely to be fit to face Tottenham tomorrow.

Klopp added on Can: "There is nothing really serious in the ankle but it is the ankle where he had a few problems in the past so it should not be too long.

"It is the same with Divock; it is nothing serious but if you have a cramp you need to have a look at it so it is not for sure they will be available."

Klopp, meanwhile, is seeking to offload striker Mario Balotelli and winger Lazar Markovic before the end of the month.

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