Jurgen Klopp spoke after Liverpool’s penalty loss to Atletico Madrid about a number of things, including his thoughts on the German training camp and Joe Gomez at centre-half.
Liverpool went down 1-0 in the first half after a momentary lapse in concentration at the back but thanks to Roberto Firmino’s spot kick, the Reds were back in the game with several minutes of the game to go.
It was by no means a perfect display from the Anfield outfit but given that it’s pre-season and that Klopp named a second string side to start the game, very few supporters will be overly concerned about the final result.
Klopp too isn’t worried about Liverpool losing their first game of pre-season and is able to take several positives from a game which the Reds dominated.
Klopp told his post match press conference: “If you get to a penalty shootout you want to win it, but that’s not the important situation that we have today.
“The boys played really well, they were very good in their preparations and you couldn’t have had a more difficult job than we did today against a team like Atletico, who get results, results, results.”
Liverpool have been in Germany for a day over a week and have worked intensively at their training base in Rottach-Egern. Klopp is very pleased with the outcome of their training camp and believes his players met his expectations during their short stay in Bavaria.
Klopp continued: “We’ve really trained hard, the boys have been great about it and done everything I’ve expected from them. We’ve had a very intensive programme, so that’s why I am very, very happy with it.
“We didn’t have freshness today, but we still have one-and-a-half weeks until our first game [at Watford]. That’s the time we need to prepare for it. I am satisfied with how it is. It’s very easy – next season we want to be as good as we can possibly be.
“We want to be better than last year, which isn’t easy, but we don’t set any limits to ourselves.”
Liverpool’s Champions League playoff opponent will be announced tomorrow and Klopp isn’t overly worried about who his side will be drawn against, citing Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Bayern as an indicator of what they can do when on form.
Klopp told the media: “These games are always very important and you’re playing at the top level, so it’s very important how you prepare and what kind of state of mind you’re in.
“If you want to win, obviously you want to [draw] a smaller opponent, but we played against Bayern yesterday and we can play much better.”
Joe Gomez has returned to fitness for Liverpool over the summer and just as well because his versatility across the backline could not be more important for the Reds. Having played at right back already in Germany, Klopp deployed him again at centre half and was pleased with his performance.
On Gomez, the German manager said: “How you know, Joe can play both positions [centre-back and right-back] so it makes absolute sense that we try both positions, especially in our situation with [Nathaniel] Clyne injured.”
Klopp continued: “He’s on the way back but he’s had no pre-season so far so, for him, it will not only be tight for Watford, it’s pretty much impossible.
“So we have, in the moment, three options for this position: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe and Jon Flanagan. All of them played the position and now we have to bring them through the next one-and-a-half weeks and hopefully Clyney can come back after this.
“We have to make a decision. For Joe, after the long injury he came back in the middle of the season and was not as quick as he was before. But he got it all back and he’s in really good shape and so it’s very important for us that we could bring him in both positions.”
Liverpool play Athletic Bilbao at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday in their last game of pre-season before a week of recovery and training ahead of the first game of the season away to Watford on August 12.
For a full transcript of Jürgen Klopp’s press conference, click here.