Adam Lallana and Jürgen Klopp addressed the media in Hong Kong ahead of Liverpool’s PL Asia Trophy match with Leicester on Saturday.
Addressing the media ahead of Liverpool’s PL Asia Trophy match with Leicester, Adam Lallana and Jürgen Klopp spoke trophies, Lallana’s teacher’s pet tag and of course, there was some transfer talk.
Lallana was up first and was greeted with a tongue in cheek question about his “teacher’s pet” tagline and the Englishman was all too happy to talk about his “good relationship” with Klopp despite being on “the end of a couple of hidings on the pitch!”
The midfielder also believes that the Reds “feel under pressure” to deliver silverware week in, week out but that with “the quality of the Premier League these days (being) very very high, it’s an unbelievable achievement (to win the league).”
However, he was quick to stress that the team “believe in ourselves,” and won’t be shying away from the challenge anytime soon.
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On his teammates, Lallana was full of nothing but praise for Henderson and Coutinho in particular.
“He’s a fantastic player. It’s no surprise that teams are interested in him. He’s definitely happy here,” Lallana responded to a question about Coutinho’s future.
“Philippe is in that elite bracket. There’s no reason why he can’t achieve huge things here at Liverpool.”
On “best mate” Jordan Henderson, Lallana was simply happy to have him back in the squad, believing that the Reds have “missed him massively.”
Moving on from the midfielder, it was onto Klopp who was in typically top form.
Klopp was also greeted with a question on Lallana’s ‘teacher’s pet’ tag and the boss was all too happy to discuss his friendship with the Englishman.
“He was my neighbour but now he’s moved!” Klopp exclaimed with a smile.
“I don’t think it was because of me but that’s how it is when you work with each other!”
The German took a particular fancy to a question about his “recipe for success this season,” responding: “not bad!”
“Take the recipe you saw last year and involve a few things like better defending, more concentration, smarter play, better game understanding, learning more from the game in the game and reacting better to these situations and being more clinical.”
The German did refuse to discuss a bid from Barcelona for playmaker Philippe Coutinho, simply offering that “keeping the group together would make sense.”
“A few people obviously see that Liverpool has a few good players. That’s how it is but a very important message, maybe: we are not a selling club. We believe in working together, we believe in development together. We believe in using the basis.
“We want to work together, we want to make the next step together and for this we need to stay together. That’s how it is.”
On the Reds’ pursuit of Naby Keïta, the boss responded: “Mr Mateschitz? What did he say? Lucky man, huh?” he said of Leipzig’s owner.
“They (RBL) don’t have to sell players. When I was at Dortmund we always had to sell players. Meanwhile, they don’t have to sell players anymore. So, obviously, I’m always a little bit too late. What can I say? There’s nothing to say about this.”
Moving on from transfers after another closed off response to a question about Andrew Robertson, the German relayed that he is hoping for “better” in the Reds next game against Leicester despite the last match being a solid 2-0 victory.
Klopp is looking for quicker, more efficient responses in defence and avoiding taking too many risks defensively.
The German also talked enthusiastically about the Reds worldwide fan base, explaining that when he first joined he was told he wouldn’t feel the vast size of the club until taking a trip abroad and meeting the overseas crowds.
For the most part, the German evaded questions about winning the Premier League title but did offer this little tidbit:
“I am the captain of the steering wheel, and everybody else looks over my shoulders and hopes that it will work. I know that, it’s no problem, I feel it in every moment but to talk about it doesn’t make it more likely. I think we have proved that we are really trying to get the biggest, highest, most sunny thing you can win. We go for it 100 per cent.”
“Until then, we have to work until we get it. That’s what we will do.”
You can watch the rest below where the manager discusses the changing landscape of the transfer market, Dominic Solanke and the positive changes to the African Cup of Nations.