Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes youngster Jordon Ibe can have a bright future if he is prepared to work hard. The 19-year-old scored his first goal for the club as the Reds beat Rubin Kazan, 1-0, to record their first European away victory in almost three years.
After an encouraging start to his Anfield career, Ibe has been something of a peripheral figure this season, even under Klopp’s predecessor Brendan Rodgers, who promoted him to the first team. And in the week photographs of the team training showed Klopp offering Ibe his glasses after failing to pull off a simple pass, the teenager showed in Russia he can make an impression.
“He is a good lad and a big talent, a very skilled player,” said Klopp.
“He has a really good base and he feels good at this moment but he has to work on things and he has a lot to learn.
“If he is prepared for this then everything will be good.”
Klopp was satisfied with the performance, their third successive victory, but admits they can still do better after dominating for most of the game, despite not putting away the chances they created:
“The first 80 minutes was really good. It was not easy to play because it was a fantastic atmosphere but the pitch is not in the same shape as the rest of the stadium …
“It was not easy with possession, we could have had more and we deserved our goal and then we have to learn to win.
“We had 1-0 and lost rhythm and opened the door for Rubin Kazan.
“They fought for their lives and it was great to see how much they want to win and now everything is fine.”
Klopp left Philippe Coutinho, Saturday’s two-goal hero against Chelsea, on the bench so as not to risk a niggle while Adam Lallana was also protected and came on later in the second half.
Selection has been more consistent in all competitions by Klopp, but he insists he does not have a first-choice XI in mind:
“Coutinho had a little bit of a hamstring. We changed some things to create more and I’m really satisfied how we did it …
“I only make the teams to win the next game, not to give a player rest if he doesn’t need it.
“We had Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho with some problems so they were on the bench.
“I didn’t want to risk it and wanted to win without them.
“This squad is big enough and strong enough. We did not fly here for a friendly game.
“We are four weeks together and have more experience together.”
Rubin manager Valeriy Chaly was happy with his team’s showing as European football returned to the Kazan Arena:
“In the second half we looked more composed but we have a problem with the composition so the young players had a chance …
“For them, it’s an experience. Liverpool are a good team and showed that against Chelsea (beating them 3-1 on Saturday) – so, we are still better than Chelsea!”
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