Thursday 17 January 2019

Klopp: No excuses in busy schedule

Boss insists Liverpool 'have to deliver' against Sunderland

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp celebrates with goalscorer Georginio Wijnaldum after Saturday evening’s win over Manchester City at Anfield
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp celebrates with goalscorer Georginio Wijnaldum after Saturday evening’s win over Manchester City at Anfield

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists there can be no excuses as his side head to Sunderland after a quick turnaround in the Premier League.

Less than 44 hours after beating title rivals Manchester City in an attritional game at Anfield the Reds will be in action again at the Stadium of Light.

City and Liverpool both have 3.0pm kick-offs today, but while Pep Guardiola's men are at home to Burnley, the Reds had to make the 165-mile trip to the north east yesterday.

Earlier in the day, while many people were still dragging themselves out of bed bleary-eyed after New Year celebrations, Klopp was already poring over a recording of the Black Cats' 3-0 defeat at Turf Moor on Saturday.

"I've celebrated enough in my life. It is no problem," said Klopp.

"We all earn a lot of money, we all know about it and our private life changes a little bit.

"I've said enough about the fixtures and long ago we accepted it.

"No excuses for no-one - that's how everyone wants it. We have to deliver - and we will deliver."

Klopp is likely to have to make at least one change after captain Jordan Henderson was forced off with a heel injury - although not the same issue which has plagued him for a year now - in the win over City.

"In this moment, it's a little bit of pain in the heel," he added.

"If Hendo is limping it is probably a little bit more pain. We have to see. We don't know exactly in this moment."

Any other alterations to the starting line-up will depend on what his conditioning staff tell him.

"Usually after a game you ask a lot of questions and if you get an answer you can rest a player, but I am pretty sure I will not ask a lot of questions like "How do you feel'," Klopp said.

"I will wait for some information from the medical department but we will not have a proper session (on Sunday).

"I can make a line-up when the medical department gives me an opportunity to and the players who are fit will play.

"It was very important we won against City. It would be really hard to go to Sunderland if you got nothing so we will go there and play our best."


Meanwhile, Sunderland's players have been warned by David Moyes there can be no repeat of their defensive horror show against Burnley when Liverpool come to the north east.

"We're going to have to defend much better," Moyes said.

"It'll be a different type of game but we've got to quickly get ourselves ready and prepare for that. Football sometimes throws up strange results at times and we've got to hope there's a strange result thrown up this week."

Without Lamine Kone at Burnley, Sunderland fans got a glimpse of what the next month may look like as a central-defensive partnership of John O'Shea and Papy Djilobodji failed to deal with Andre Gray.

Kone has been called up to Ivory Coast's African Nations Cup squad and may even be denied a farewell experience against the Reds due to injury.

The 27-year-old hurt himself when sliding in to an advertising hoarding to try and stop a Gray shot and despite initially appearing fine to continue, he was withdrawn in the 24th minute, with Moyes now unsure if he can feature on Monday.

"It looked as if he went into the hoardings - I thought he was going to be okay but I couldn't really see it from the dugout," he added.

"It looked not so bad to me at the time but I've got no idea."

Moyes also lost Victor Anichebe to a problem before the break as he substituted himself having appeared to strain his hamstring when chasing George Boyd on the stroke of half-time.

Defender Jason Denayer is another concern due to a hamstring problem that prevented him from even making the squad in east Lancashire.

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