Football

Klopp calls on community to do their part in fight against coronavirus

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has urged the community to abide by social distancing guidelines in order to overcome the coronavirus crisis.

The United Kingdom has banned people from leaving their homes, apart from for essential reasons, as more than 14,000 people in Britain, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, have tested positive for Covid-19, with at least 759 dead, as of Friday (March 27).

The English Premier League has been suspended till April 30 at least, with many clubs, including runaway leaders Liverpool, turning their attention to helping vulnerable members of the community during this period. For instance, the Reds had offered their stadium stewards to local supermarkets, to help in crowd control.

While Klopp praised such efforts, he added that the community need to play their part too.

“The only way to get football back as soon as possible, if that’s what the people want, the more disciplined we are now, the earlier we will get, piece by piece by piece, our life back,” he told the club website during a video chat from his home.

"We have to be disciplined by ourselves, we have to keep the distance to other people. We can still do some things, not a lot, but we have to just calm down a little bit with things."

Urging people to "stay at home as long as we have to", he added: “At one point we will play football again as well, 100 per cent. I couldn’t wish more for it because of a few really good reasons, how you can imagine. I can’t wait actually, but even I have to be disciplined and I try to be as much as I can."

Klopp added that the mood at Liverpool is upbeat despite the coronavirus lockdown, even admitting he has tried to copy Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s dance moves to keep himself occupied.

The EPL leaders were two wins away from their first top-flight title for 30 years when English football was suspended earlier this month.

UPBEAT

Klopp said his players’ spirits remained high despite the frustrations of having no football to play and praised the efforts of his backroom staff who are looking after the players’ fitness.

“We spoke a couple of times, we have a really intense, big, big group chat – the whole of Melwood (training ground) are in that,” he said.

“The boys are really lively in that, the boys are just interested in what everybody is doing, comments on what everybody is doing – if Ox is on Instagram or whatever.”

Midfielder Oxlade-Chamberlain and his girlfriend, Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards, performed a dance routine, which she posted on social media.

GRASS-CUTTER MILNER

Teammate James Milner played up to his “boring James Milner” tag by posting a video of himself cutting his grass with a ruler and scissors.

“I didn’t cut the grass but I tried the dance of Ox,” said Klopp. “Not as bad as you probably think. It’s very important in these times that we all show we take this situation seriously, but we are human beings."

“If the boys do anything on Instagram, as long as it’s in a legal frame I’m overly happy about it – it just shows they are still cheeky and all that stuff,” he added. – AFP

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