REUTERS – Liverpool know how to play football and there is no need to “sprinkle magic dust” on them, says new manager Juergen Klopp.
The former Borussia Dortmund boss made his Premier League bow with a solid goalless draw for his injury-depleted side at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
Klopp is renowned for expecting a high work rate from his players and his demands were met on Saturday as his side were the first team to outrun Tottenham this season.
Liverpool’s distance covered and total sprints also increased under Klopp as the Reds ran a combined total of 116 km and made 614 sprints, more than in any other league game so far this campaign.
Much is expected of the charismatic 48-year-old German, who led Dortmund to two Bundesliga titles and a Champions League final, and he is confident his players will improve as they continue to adapt to his style of play.
“We don’t have to sprinkle magical dust on them: ‘and now you can play football’. They know how to play. We just have to create a situation where it is possible to do this,” Klopp was quoted as saying by the British media.
“I am not sure how many games you saw like this from Adam Lallana? I know him from Southampton and he can do 20-30 percent more. Philippe Coutinho? Do you not think he can play better football than today? Of course, he can.
“Lucas? You don’t think he can play balls on the right and left side? Of course he can. Emre Can? Learning between running and passing? He can learn.
“(James) Milner? The complete football player, the perfect professional. (You think) I should teach them technical aspects? They know. We have to altogether help them to show it,” he added.
Klopp will be hoping to pick up his first win as a Liverpool manager on Thursday when they host Russian side Rubin Kazan in the Europa League.
(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O’Brien)