London (AFP) – Jurgen Klopp is confident Daniel Sturridge’s numerous injury problems have not led to a permanent decline in the Liverpool forward’s ability.
The 27-year-old striker has not scored for five games and, following Liverpool’s League Cup semi-final loss to Southampton, former Reds defender Jamie Carragher suggested Sturridge had lost a significant amount of pace.
But Liverpool manager Klopp, speaking Friday, took a different view.
“I thought, after the Southampton game, from the physical side it was a really good game from Daniel Sturridge,” said Klopp.
“He was really involved from the first second to the last second, and usually Daniel Sturridge scores twice but he’s a human being so he missed the chances.
“Of course, more injuries can have the effect that you lose, not the speed, but 100 percent trust in your body when sprinting,” the German boss added.
“But it’s not lost forever. Daniel is the best age for a football player so, if he can stay fit, everything will be fine.”
Liverpool have won just one of their last seven matches in all competitions, an FA Cup replay against Plymouth, and that has given Saturday’s fourth round tie, at home to Championship side Wolves, added significance.
Last weekend’s surprise loss at Anfield to Swansea left Liverpool 10 points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea but Klopp believes there is still time for the Reds to revive their season.
“Most of the things in football, when you have the quality we still have, then it’s about getting the focus back on different things,” he said.
– ‘Difference in the detail’ –
“The Swansea game was for me disappointing because we should not concede goals like we conceded. Against Southampton it was a similar game. I think they play a very different style against us, a special Liverpool style.
“They had counter-attacks, and not all of them were because of bad defending but Loris (Karius) had two or three saves and that means they could score.
“It’s not about defending it’s about reacting in a specific situation and keeping your nerves. Still the funny German (Klopp) talks about the wind but it was an issue for the football-playing side.
“Staying concentrated, not getting frustrated, we did well. We created the chances and with a little bit of luck we score already.
“I don’t know what we have to do to change the decisions around fouls or handballs in the box. If there was a handball it would be nice if we could hear a whistle.
“The difference is in the detail. What we have to do is stay concentrated, and for me it’s no problem to stay optimistic because I see always the progress.
“I’m really fine with the situation. I don’t like the results but I see we’re still fighting for each point, for each little victory.
Saturday will see Klopp reunited with Wolves boss Paul Lambert, who as a player won the Champions League with the Anfield manager’s former club Borussia Dortmund.
“He’s absolutely a Dortmund legend,” said Klopp of Lambert. “He was always welcome at Dortmund. When he had no job he came and watched training, we spoke a little bit.
“We know each other well. He’s a very nice guy and I’m really happy that we can meet tomorrow. But, even though he’s very nice, I would like to send him home with empty hands,” he added.
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