Jurgen Klopp discussed a wide variety of topics as he previewed Liverpool’s Champions League affair with AFC Ajax.
The Reds will welcome the Eredivisie team to Anfield on Tuesday evening and would secure passage to the knockout rounds of the competition if they avoid losing.
The boss held a press conference via video link on Monday afternoon to take a look at Group D’s encounter with Erik ten Hag’s team.
Yes, why shouldn’t I expect a close match? Ajax Amsterdam are a really good team and our game is flying pretty much through the league. Big results, clear lead, very talented, some players are coming back – things like that. Yes, I expect a close match.
I don’t actually see it from this perspective, because that would mean that I somehow already count with the points. We deal with the situation as it is. Yes, three points would be great, absolutely great. But that’s obviously on the table, so clear that it would help us massively. I didn’t think I’d have to mention it today. But yes, an important game against a really good team, of course, and that’s how we want to go about it.
About the importance of the staff in the back room to make sure the players are ready to play in quick succession. . .
In moments like this, they’re always incredibly important. It’s an intense time, so sometimes the players spend more time in this department than with me on the field. Sure, because we don’t train a lot, we can’t. So yes, very, very important and you know. It’s a busy time for all of us and of course for them too.
I don’t have enough players for this. It’s not about the competition, it’s about the game we play. That means we played two days ago and we were the best players on the field for that game. This will be the case again with this game as, as I said, there are not enough players to make such decisions. I never made that decision – Premier League and Champions League or whatever – because all competitions are very, very, very important to us.
On 2. 000 fans who died on 6. December to be present for Liverpool’s game with Wolverhampton Wanderers. . .
As a player, I’ve probably never had more than 2. 000 supporters. But since I worked as a coach, there were more people in the stadium and I don’t know exactly who will be there and who will be in the 2. 000 will be. But yes, I’m happy for the 2nd. 000 lucky people who have the chance to watch live football again after all this time. But I have no experience with 2. 000 people in Anfield, to be honest, so we’ll see. As we have not adapted to any fans in the stadium, we will try to 2. 000 in the stadium and not with 2. 000 or 4. 000 fans to suffer in an away stadium. That’s the way it is. But it’s really not about us or the advantage we have with it or the disadvantage elsewhere, it’s just a nice sign that these things are possible and I hope it’s just the first step. This is my greatest hope.
If someone is a youth or academy player from Liverpool in general, they certainly already have a lot of talent – otherwise you can’t make the cut. Then by the time you go through all of these difficult moments in your youth academy career, you are already used to some difficult situations and some pressures. But when you show up and take the final step and have to play for the first team in a competitive game, that’s another beast. I think the guys have adapted very well. You have done a lot of really good things, have helped us tremendously, are very important – not just in the moment, but above all in the moment. The only problem they have from time to time is that people compare them to the guy who played the position before them. In our case they are all world class players and that might make it difficult for people to see how talented these guys are. But from my point of view, they did really, really well.
Liverpool F. . C.. . , AFC Ajax, UEFA Champions League, Jürgen Klopp, Anfield
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