Football

Klopp: Liverpool have stepped up since Coutinho left

Reds boss believes his team have become less predictable, now that the responsibility is spread among other players

EPL
 LIVERPOOL NEWCASTLE

Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp says his team has become less predictable since the sale of Philippe Coutinho as his players are now sharing responsibility between themselves.

Coutinho completed his move from Anfield to Barcelona in January in a deal worth £142 million, but Liverpool have maintained their impressive run of results with just one defeat in their last 19 English Premier League matches.

Klopp believes the team’s tactics were often channelled through Coutinho but other attacking players are now stepping up in his absence.

“On a good day, it makes you more unpredictable if you don’t have this dominant player but, on another day, you miss a player like that,” the German manager told a news conference on Friday.

“Phil Coutinho was a very dominant player in our game and, when we were not at our best, it was always a good idea to give him the ball, maybe he has an idea.

“But it was always clear when Phil didn’t play we had to do the job differently, to put responsibility on different shoulders and spread it among the players.”

Liverpool sit third in the league table, two points behind second-placed Manchester United ahead of the visit by Newcastle United on Monday morning (Singapore time).

Klopp said he is pleased with the team’s progress over the season despite trailing runaway leaders Manchester City by 18 points with 10 matches left.

“This is a really interesting football project. I’ve felt like this since I was in,” he added.

“If you can only be happy if you have one more point than them (City), that would be difficult for any other team in the world at the moment.

“You can’t have 57 points if everything is wrong, a lot of things are really positive. If we use our situation, we can come close and when you can come closer, you can overtake – not only a car but a football club.” - REUTERS

juergen kloppliverpoolPhilippe Coutinho