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Thursday 14 November 2019

Klopp relief at fully-fit squad

Liverpool players urged to build on 'wonderful base' by manager

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Photo: PA
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Photo: PA

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has urged his side to build on their "wonderful base" as he welcomed a fully-fit squad for the season run-in.

The Reds are back in action after the international break with a Premier League clash against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

Klopp's men are two points ahead of Manchester City at the top of the table - albeit having played a game more - and also have a Champions League quarter-final against Porto in the calendar for next month.

And having surpassed last season's points tally already by taking 76 points from 31 games, the Liverpool manager is urging his players to go on and finish the job.

"It is exciting, absolutely," said Klopp. "That's what we were always talking about - a season is like that, you constantly prepare a basis for the final weeks.

"We are now in the final weeks and there will be no interruption anymore, there will only be game after game after game and they all are very, very important.

"On the one side, opponents fight for the Champions League spots, and on the other they will fight (to stay in) the league.

"Champions League, we don't have to talk about that because they are all finals, each game is a final. Hopefully we can stay in that competition for a while.We created a wonderful base, now let's use it."

Players on international duty have started to arrive back at Melwood with Klopp confident he will have an almost full complement to work with from Thursday ahead of Sunday's match.

Xherdan Shaqiri and Trent Alexander-Arnold are continuing treatment on minor issues, but Naby Keita - who missed the last two games through injury - has resumed full training alongside long-term absentee Joe Gomez.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is expected to be back next week after a minor problem on his return for the under-23s earlier this month.

"Absolutely (it's good to be back)," said Klopp.

"Now we are back, the boys are coming step by step back as well, so from Thursday on I think we will be complete.

"With all players together, of course, the Dutch ones, the Brazilians, together in complete training. But preparation has started already."

Slammed

Meanwhile, Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson has been slammed as "ugly and disrespectful" by Montenegro defender Stefan Savic as the fall-out to England's Euro 2020 qualifier continues.

Henderson came off the bench to create the final goal for Raheem Sterling as England romped to a 5-1 win in Podgorica on Monday night.

Savic, who was at Manchester City for the 2011-12 season, has claimed the Liverpool man was "arrogant" when "sarcastically" refusing to exchange shirts at the end of the match.

"We all know they are a much bigger team than us but sometimes I feel very bad to be playing the same sport as some players," said Savic.

"Jordan Henderson, for example, sarcastically told our player after one normal clash he would give him a jersey after the match.

"It is ugly and disrespectful. I told him he was good enough not to act like that."

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