How is rugby assisting Loris Karius in the Premier League?

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Goalkeeping coach John Achterberg has been using some rugby pads to help get Loris Karius used to the Premier League.
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Goalkeeping coach John Achterberg has been using some rugby pads to help get Loris Karius used to the Premier League.

With Loris Karius being targeted by opposing teams through crosses and high balls into his box since his debut, Liverpool’s goalkeeping staff have taken to putting him through some interesting drills to help him up his game.

John Achterberg has been training the German by roughing him up with rugby training pads to help him adapt to the amount of crosses being swung into his box and the physical battle that comes with them.

“John Achterberg usually does it with his hands but it’s better to use something else!” Klopp responded when asked about using the tackle pads. “Of course that’s important. There are different things you have to do as a coach.

“First, as a keeper you have to learn the technique then you have to adapt to the real circumstances – having six, seven players around you. No one gets out of your way. It is completely the opposite. They want to disturb your way.”

Another method used so far by Achterberg has been to have Karius weave his way through mannequins to claim high balls while fellow keeper Mignolet pushes and pressures him. It’s believed by both Achterberg and Klopp that roughing the young German up will harden him to the physical nature of the Premier League and see him up his game and confidence.

The keeper showed an improvement against Crystal Palace, claiming multiple crosses and holding them well but the Eagles were still able to score from one with a solid header by James McArthur.

With fixtures coming up against sides like Watford, Southampton and West Ham – who like to cross the ball and rely on set pieces – it’s vital that Karius ups his confidence when coming for the ball and it’s good to see Klopp taking steps towards helping him do so.Classic Football Shirts For Sale - Click Here For More!

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