Klopp praises big Sam's tactical nous

Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet says no extra motivation is needed for him and his team-mates ahead of the crunch clash against Everton.
Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet says no extra motivation is needed for him and his team-mates ahead of the crunch clash against Everton.PHOTO: REUTERS

German says Allardyce's teams are 'difficult to beat', demands hard work from Reds

LONDON • Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp declared last week that any bad blood between him and Sam Allardyce was "history" following the former England boss' appointment as Everton manager.

And ahead of their first Merseyside derby in the Premier League tomorrow, Klopp had only good words for his opposite number.

"I played him at three different clubs and I'm only two years here. At each club, he did the job," the 50-year-old said at his pre-match press conference, as reported by BBC Sport.

"He's very successful, we know what we'll get but that doesn't make it easier.

"All Allardyce teams are difficult to play - but on the other hand, we were in a good moment. We must make it as difficult as possible for Everton to win any yard on the pitch."

The pair had previously clashed two seasons ago when Allardyce was in charge of Sunderland.

Klopp was incensed by a tackle from Jermaine Lens on Mamadou Sakho that led to Allardyce branding him a "soft German".

When asked about how he intends to deal with Allardyce's Everton, Klopp added: "I expect good organisation, a clear structure. Set-pieces of a high level. A lot of fights for second balls.

"We have to really work hard in the best way, be patient like we were patient against Brighton (in the 5-1 win last week), because there's no easy way to go through.

"We also have to be perfectly organised and be ready for hard challenges. Then we can win the game."

Liverpool are unbeaten against Everton since October 2010, a run that stretches across 14 games in all competitions, and Klopp's side have won their last three league meetings against the Toffees.

Fourth-placed Liverpool are also six points behind second-placed Manchester United and 14 behind leaders Manchester City, but have the chance to reduce the deficit before the table-toppers face off in their own local derby tomorrow.

Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet said the Reds can extend their six-game unbeaten league run and assert pressure on their fellow title contenders.

"No one needs motivating for a game like this. It's exciting. I love playing in these games," the Belgian said.

"It's always been a great fixture for us and we're going into it in excellent form. We're back up in the top four which is where we want to be, but we want to keep chasing the guys in front of us."

Klopp has also confirmed that defender Alberto Moreno requires a second assessment of the ankle injury he suffered against Spartak Moscow in the Champions League in midweek and is out of the derby.

Despite a poor start to the campaign, Everton have now won back-to-back league games following Allardyce's appointment to climb up to 10th in the table.

But the 63-year-old has warned his team against complacency.

He said: "Two wins back to back, but Liverpool is a different kettle of fish. It's a big game, a big derby. It's about handling the pressure and atmosphere, and handling a team in the best form since Jurgen arrived.

"It's also about not wasting the possession we get. If we get a chance, we need to score. We need to be very clinical in our finishing."



Singtel TV Ch102 & StarHub Ch227, tomorrow, 10.15pm

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 09, 2017, with the headline 'Klopp praises big Sam's tactical nous'. Print Edition | Subscribe