Stability vital for Reds

Klopp tells team not to fear making errors, says injured Gomez will be out for months

LONDON • Six days after arriving on Merseyside, new Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has hinted that he already knows how his team will set up against Tottenham tomorrow. But the German believes it is not yet time to impose widespread changes at the club.

The 48-year-old will lead Liverpool out for the first time at White Hart Lane following the sacking of Brendan Rodgers last week.

"We have to be active, ready for work and to enjoy the game.

"We are playing against a very good team that has been together for some time," he told a press conference yesterday.

"They (Spurs) look fine-tuned, good together. We know how they want to play but it's important to analyse our own situation.

VICTORY QUEST

Now we have to open our chests, run and fight and shoot.

JUERGEN KLOPP

"If nothing happens in the next training sessions, I know how I want to play."

Liverpool are seeking their fourth league win of the season.

They have scored just eight goals in their first eight games, and are 10th in the table with a negative goal difference (-2).

Klopp believes his Liverpool side must start building from the foundations of a strong defence.

"What I want to see (is) maybe more braveness, I want to see more fun in their eyes, I want to see they like what they do," he said.

"If this is different, we can be very well organised, as good as possible in a short time.

"It's not allowed to think only about offensive things, although I know until now we have not enough goals.

"You have to start the development on the other side, you have to feel stability. If you feel this, then you are free for offensive football and creativity. That's how football works, that's what we try to do."

In order for his players to fully express themselves, Klopp believes that they have to cast the shackles off and not fret about their individual errors.

"It's not important to think about how many mistakes you make. You can always get better, if you accept that mistakes will happen," he added. "We have to be compact, close together tactically, and if you are close, then you have options to play with and who can support you.

"You don't always have to try the most risky ball if you are compact. You've to run, to fight, until the moment, and then, bang, you take it."

The German was upbeat throughout his first pre-match press conference, even though he confirmed that Joe Gomez has sustained an anterior cruciate ligament injury that is set to keep the 18-year-old out for months. Klopp confirmed Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino will also miss the Spurs game but should return to action in a week.

Gomez, who began the season as first-choice left-back, was injured playing for the England Under-21s in Tuesday's victory over Kazakhstan in Coventry.

He signed from Charlton in June on a five-year contract and started in Liverpool's opening five matches, including the games with Arsenal and Manchester United.

His versatility - his favourite position is in central defence - and comfort on the ball have been among the few positives that Liverpool have been able to take from a testing start to the season.

And Klopp was keen to offer the teenager reassurances.

"It was not the best day in his life but he is a young guy and I am pretty good at waiting for players, young players especially," said the manager who is likely to start Alberto Moreno at left-back tomorrow.

Klopp also spoke about the intense media interest he has faced since he arrived in England.

"I am trying to sort out my private situation and find somewhere to live but the paparazzi seem to know about it before I do," he said.

"Yesterday, I was at dinner with my two assistants and someone asked for a photo.

"I had to say no. Every photo ends up on Twitter.

"It's strange at the moment because we haven't even played football yet.

"Let's start playing football, then see what they think of me."

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 16, 2015, with the headline 'STABILITY VITAL FOR REDS'. Print Edition | Subscribe