Jurgen Klopp would expect his boys to keep up the good work against Saturday’s visitors Newcastle United after beating West Ham 4-1 at Anfield last weekend.
The Reds are in scintillating form at present and after trouncing FC Porto 5-0 in the first leg of Champions League round of 16, they showed their mettle once again by defeating West Ham.
Newcastle United have blown hot and cold and due to some or the other reasons, have failed to find consistent good results this season.
They still remain a well-drilled side under Rafael Benitez and the team dished out a spirited performance in the 1-0 win over Manchester United last month.
Team and Injury News
Jurgen Klopp won’t have a fully-fit squad against Newcastle, with James Milner, Georginio Wijnaldum and Ben Woodburn out.
“Everybody saw Millie got a real knock in the last game. That still hurts a little bit. We will see how that improves. It’s not an injury but it’s a little issue,” the manager spoke about Milner at his pre-match press conference. (Liverpoolfc.com)
But Jordan Henderson, who was an unused substitute against the Hammers, took part in training with the first-team squad and is available against the Magpies, alongside Danny Ings.
“Hendo is fine, he trained completely normally – all good. It was a really good week for him so far, the best for three or four weeks now,” Klopp added.
“Danny [Ings] came back – he had kind of a cold.”
Nathaniel Clyne has returned from a back injury and played 90 minutes in Liverpool U23’s 4-0 win over Stoke U23 in the PL Cup last weekend.
And despite clocking up 90 minutes, Klopp feels the defender is still a long way short of the rhythm to play for the senior side.
“In a very serious situation with no other right-backs, maybe we could bring Clyney because he is a naturally fit boy,” our boss explained.
“But he has absolutely no rhythm and will need a few more games to be at his best.”
Klopp is also impressed by Andrew Robertson, citing:
“He has stepped up and improved a lot in a fantastic way. Everyone needs time. The last 2 games were really good especially. He’s young enough to develop still.”
The Reds have won 9 out of 12 games in all competitions but Klopp admits his entire focus remains on picking all three points on Saturday.
“I’m still not in the mood to think and feel the positivity of the situation. I am really not. Yes, when you say that we’ve won nine of the last 12 [in all competitions], it’s a good number but actually, the only game we have to win is the Newcastle game. That’s really the only thing I’m interested in – that’s how I feel,” the German said.
“The positive numbers, perfect. It’s good. The club invested a lot in the last few years since I’ve been in; we’ve built a new stand, we’re planning a new training ground, we have brought in fantastic players, so I am completely fine. I am not interested too much in it, to be honest. It’s not that I ask, ‘Can you tell me, how much is in the account?’ or whatever. We brought in the players we wanted to bring in for the price we wanted, at the end, to pay – not more, not less.
“Yes, the club is until today in a very good moment but we all know if we don’t perform tomorrow, then it feels different immediately. That’s the only thing I am interested [in].
“When the season is over and we have a look back, then maybe I will have a beer on the fantastic numbers and all the games we didn’t lose, or we won, and all that stuff.”
Asked about Rafael Benitez, Klopp quipped:
“We know who is coming – a Liverpool legend is coming, Rafael Benitez one of the best managers in the world. We all know how he works, how he can organise a team, how he can make your life really difficult. I like him as a person, but I actually think we’ve given enough presents already to him since I have been in. 2-0 up in the home game when we played them [and it finished 2-2]. And at Newcastle, I think even Rafa knew it was a little bit lucky for them.
“We need to be really focused, really concentrated on the game and it will be interesting again.”
It will be an intense battle at Anfield on Saturday and our team has to produce a magical performance to defeat Rafa’s boys.