Klopp suggests Liverpool player's passing could have been better vs Forest
Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

Klopp suggests Liverpool player's passing could have been better vs Forest

Jurgen Klopp has suggested that Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate’s passing wasn’t great against Nottingham Forest today.

Konate started his ninth game in a row for the Reds, but it wasn’t one of his better days at the office. And speaking in his post-match press conference, Klopp admitted that Forest’s system put the onus on the Frenchman to use the ball better.

“It gave Ibou a lot of moments on the ball, and at the beginning he didn’t use it that well,” said the manager.

“Ibou had a lot of time and space and that’s the next thing, if an opponent is doing that, how can we help Ibou to use these moments slightly better? It’s early days with that kind of system so we’ll have to work on that. That’s what we’ll do.”

The same situation won’t present itself in every game Liverpool play. But with plenty of sides giving the Reds time to build up from the back, Konate has to get with the system.

Konate shows room for improvement

Konate has been one of Liverpool’s best players during his recent run in the side. It’s hard to shake the feeling that the Reds would have been higher in the table had he been fit and available all season.

Nevertheless, the 23-year-old is still learning his trade and has made a couple of reasonably costly errors.

Monday’s under-hit back-pass to allow Luis Sinisterra to score for Leeds is the most glaring that comes to mind. Just as he did today, Konate made the wrong decision in possession and Liverpool were punished.

There were no such obvious mistakes against Forest this afternoon. Instead, Konate overhit a couple of long passes here, lost a couple of aerial duels there. Generally he didn’t give the control that he usually does.

As quite obviously Klopp’s first choice to partner Virgil van Dijk now, there is now more pressure on Ibou. Over the course of his Reds career so far, he’s shown himself more than capable of handling such pressure.

But in order to go to the next level, the France international is going to have to hone is passing skills a little. The good news is that as well as Van Dijk, he’s got the slalom king himself – Joel Matip – to learn from on the training pitch. We’ve every faith that he will.

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