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Sport Klopp warns his players 'there is a lot to improve' after Ajax win

03:27  22 october  2020
03:27  22 october  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits his side have plenty of improving to do and has warned his players they should expect to have to fight for their Jurgen Klopp (left) thinks Liverpool have a lot to improve after their 4-3 win over Arsenal. Klopp was impressed by some aspects of his side's

" Playing against a quick and compact team like Ajax , do you think you stand a chance without Thiago and Virgil van Dijk?" Weary-looking Klopp , who had smiled in bemusement during the inquisition, leaned back into his chair with an affected air of resignation before sarcastically replying: "No."

Fabinho et al. playing a game of football: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Jurgen Klopp hailed Liverpool's battling qualities that enabled them to emerge from a 'pressure situation' in Amsterdam with a confidence restoring victory.

Liverpool beat Ajax 1-0 thanks to an own goal from Nicolas Tagliafico but their performance in their opening Group D fixture was characterised by the way midfielder Fabinho moved back into central defence and never put a foot wrong.

The highlight of his display came just before half-time, when he acrobatically scooped Dusan Tadic's lob off the line. Ajax were a nuisance throughout and they came close to grabbing an equaliser when Davy Klaassen hit a post early in the second period.

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a man standing in front of a crowd: Jurgen Klopp was impressed with how his Liverpool team battled to win three points at Ajax © Provided by Daily Mail Jurgen Klopp was impressed with how his Liverpool team battled to win three points at Ajax a group of people playing football on a field: An own goal from Nicolas Tagliafico in the first half was enough for Liverpool to win the game © Provided by Daily Mail An own goal from Nicolas Tagliafico in the first half was enough for Liverpool to win the game

Klopp conceded there is still significant room for improvement in Liverpool's form but, after a turbulent week that began with Virgil van Dijk being ruled out for the majority of the season, the manager was delighted with his team's determination.


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'Was there pressure in the situation? Yes,' said Klopp. 'It (a clean sheet) is huge but we are not dumb enough to think we didn't need a bit of luck as Fabinho needed to make a proper stretch to get that ball from the line and they hit the post.

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'The clean sheet is one information but we could have done better. I don't care in the moment. We wanted to win the game and we have done that but now we don't hang the clean sheet too high because there were two situations where we were not far away from perfect.

Joe Gomez standing on a baseball field: Liverpool registered a clean sheet and Klopp was complimentary of Joe Gomez's performance © Provided by Daily Mail Liverpool registered a clean sheet and Klopp was complimentary of Joe Gomez's performance a group of people playing football on a field: Fabinho was also a standout performer and made a vital goal-line clearance in the first half © Provided by Daily Mail Fabinho was also a standout performer and made a vital goal-line clearance in the first half

'But the result is absolutely OK. Now on Saturday night a completely different challenge. Sheffield United have had their legs on the sofa and we need to recover quickly. It was a good performance but there is a lot to improve - and that is good.'

All eyes were on Fabinho and Joe Gomez, given the injuries to Van Dijk and Joel Matip, but Klopp did not have any doubts about whether the Brazilian would be able to cope with the different demands that were asked of him.

'For the two at the back, it was their first game together,' said Klopp. 'They need to get used to each other, they need to get used to the verbal demands. Fabinho can play the position, he likes playing it actually. If I asked him to play right back I don't think he would enjoy it as much.

'In our situation we have to keep those boys fit. I'm not surprised Fabinho plays in the position, otherwise I would have thought about a different solution. That would have been tricky but I'm really pleased.'

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Klopp open to playing Robertson or Henderson at centre-back .
An injury crisis has left Liverpool short at the back ahead of Saturday evening's game at Anfield and Klopp may either have to turn to youth to plug the gap or reposition one of his midfielders. With Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip out injured, Klopp has just one recognised first team centre-half - Joe Gomez - at his disposal.

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