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Thursday 24 May 2018

'I can't describe my emotions' - Klopp pays tribute to Irish fan Sean

Sean Cox was attacked outside The Albert
Sean Cox was attacked outside The Albert

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has broken his silence about the horrific attack on Irish fan Sean Cox.

The Meath man remained in a critical condition in a Liverpool hospital last night after being assaulted outside The Albert pub on Tuesday evening ahead of the first leg of the Champions League semi-final clash with Roma.

An emotional Klopp paid tribute to the dad-of-three yesterday as he wished him a speedy recovery, while wearing a tricolour Liver Bird badge in a clear show of support.

"I think the game on Tuesday night showed the beauty of the game during it. It also showed ugly parts before it," the manager said.

Unbelievable

"When I heard, I cannot describe my emotions. This should never happen, before or in the future.

"We all have to do everything to ensure that doesn't happen again. Nobody has a solution, but it is unbelievable that something like this can happen. All our prayers are with Sean and his family."

Liverpool police confirmed yesterday that Mr Cox remains in a critical condition.

Two Italian men were charged in relation to the attack at Sefton Magistrates Court on Thursday.

A police official told the court that Mr Cox was in a critical but stable condition and in a medically-induced coma.

Doctors at the Walton Neurological Centre, which is around 10 minutes from Anfield, hope to try to wake him on Monday.

Mr Cox had a significant bleed on the left side of his brain, the court was told.

The Dunboyne businessman had been standing outside the landmark pub at the Anfield stadium with his brother when he was the victim of an unprovoked attack.

His family has been keeping a bedside vigil at the hospital where he is being treated.

A jersey from his local GAA club, St Peter's, will be hung in the Liverpool dressing room for a number of upcoming games as a show of solidarity by the club's players, who have been deeply saddened by what happened.

It comes as Liverpool have requested a meeting with Uefa, Roma and Italian police to address concerns over fan safety at next week's Champions League semi-final second leg, which the Reds will approach with a 5-2 lead.

Liverpool are keen to get assurances over safety ahead of the game on Wednesday, and Klopp sent a message to Liverpool's travelling fans.

"The only thing, and it is always how I see it, it is all about football. It is only football. Nothing more and nothing less. I never understood people who don't accept that," he said.

"I am pretty sure everybody who is involved in keeping people safe will do their best and everything they can. I am not too concerned about that.

"If Roma go through, they deserve it, if we go through, we deserve it. Around the stadium, nobody should think about anything else but the game."

Klopp urged Liverpool fans to take every precaution to ensure that the game passes off without incident.

Praying

Roma players and staff revealed that they are praying for Mr Cox to make a full recovery.

Roma boss Eusebio Di Fran- cesco has condemned the attack and says everyone at the club is praying for a speedy recovery.

"We condemn any and all forms of violence," Di Fran- cesco said.

"The team, my staff and I have all been thinking about and praying for Sean Cox and his family.

"My hope is that the second leg will be played in an inclusive, celebratory atmosphere, for football, and for sport in general. This is my appeal to our supporters."

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