Salah's awards trip a 'wrong timing'

LONDON • Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp showed a hint of frustration over Mohamed Salah's less-than-ideal preparations for tomorrow's Premier League clash against Brighton and Hove Albion.

The forward flew to London to collect the Football Writers' Association Player of the Year award on Thursday - minutes after receiving the Player of the Year and Players' Player of the Year awards at Liverpool's own presentation night at Anfield.

The Egypt international, who is also the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year, has not added to his 43 goals this season in his last three outings. And while Klopp believes Salah has handled the various demands of getting recognised well, he was not thrilled at the timing of the events.

"I think (Salah) deserved all of the awards he got," Klopp told a press conference yesterday.

"I am not in the mood to praise anyone for the last few months.

"Everything he has done has been fantastic. But it is all about Sunday.

NOT THE END YET

Everything he has done has been fantastic. But it is all about Sunday. To bring the boy to London, to celebrate and party but we are not ready to party.

JURGEN KLOPP, Liverpool manager, on how his team must focus on the final match tomorrow in order to finish in the top four. 

JUST THE BEGINNING

I'm very happy here... Of course I have got ambitions for the future with Liverpool. As you can see we had a great season, now we are in the Champions League final and everyone is excited. It is just the start.

MOHAMED SALAH, telling the Liverpool Echo he is aiming for another good season.

"To bring the boy to London, to celebrate and party but we are not ready to party. The journalists should have come here.

"The season has ended for most of the teams in the league. For them it is a nice time but for us it is time to work... It's not perfect and as a manager I would prefer him to go home and relax on the sofa or go to bed early.

"But he was in bed early because that's how we organised it...

"He is pretty cool in managing these requests and questions."

Klopp is not taking anything for granted even though Liverpool just need a home draw against Brighton to secure a top-four finish and a Champions League berth via league position.

The Merseyside club are fourth on 72 points, two more than fifth-placed Chelsea and have a superior goal difference of 15 goals.

The Reds are unbeaten in the league at Anfield this season, with 11 wins and seven draws, while Brighton have won only two away games all term.

The Merseyside outfit can also ensure that they will play Champions League football for a second consecutive season if they beat holders Real Madrid in this year's final in Kiev. But Klopp is not thinking about the May 26 title decider.

"We need to be completely focused on (the Brighton) game, we will be," added Klopp. "There are plenty of moments when everybody could be really happy, proud of this team. But on Sunday we have to deliver again, all of us."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 12, 2018, with the headline 'Salah's awards trip a 'wrong timing''. Print Edition | Subscribe