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Liverpool’s training return a ‘massive lift’ for Klopp

Liverpool’s training return a ‘massive lift’ for Klopp

FOOTBALL: Jurgen Klopp admitted yesterday (May 31) that it has been a “massive lift” to see his Liverpool squad back training together as they prepare for the return of the Premier League.

FootballPremier-League
By AFP

Monday 1 June 2020, 10:21AM


Jurgen Klopp is relieved to have his Liverpool squad back together. Photo: AFP

Jurgen Klopp is relieved to have his Liverpool squad back together. Photo: AFP

The English top flight is set to restart on June 17 and teams have been able to resume group training after weeks of isolation due to the coronavirus lockdown.

It has been an especially frustrating time for Liverpool boss Klopp, whose side were two wins away from clinching the Premier League title when the season was halted because of the pandemic in March.

“We never had nine weeks without football training in our lives since we played football, pretty much. That’s all different but interesting as well,” Klopp told Liverpool’s website.

“We enjoy the situation, that’s really all good. And it makes all the difference for us, to be honest, to come together and have this hour or two here together.

“You get this contact, feedback as well on the pitch directly, not via a computer or a screen. It’s a massive, massive lift.”

Liverpool have a 25-point lead over second placed Manchester City, putting their first English title for 30 years within touching distance if the season does restart.

The Reds’ first game back is scheduled to be the Merseyside derby against Everton and Klopp is building his players’ fitness towards that date.

“We don’t have to be match-fit now. We try it with increasing intensity, day by day, but we have to be fit on the 19th or 20th, whichever day they will give us against Everton, I think,” Klopp said.

“That’s the moment when we want to be at 100%. It’s round about three weeks until then, that’s good. We want to use that and we will.

“It’s our pre-season; how I said, we don’t expect a long break in between the seasons, so this is a very important period for us.”

Liverpool are now awaiting confirmation on schedules and venues after senior police chiefs raised concerns about the club playing any possible title-clinching match at Anfield or another team’s stadium.

All matches will be played behind closed doors and it was suggested Liverpool may have to move to a neutral venue in a bid to stop fans gathering outside.

“That’s what we were all waiting for,” Klopp said. “But now it’s always like this. You were waiting for that, somebody tells us we could start, that’s good.

“Now we know, from a training point of view, what we have to do when and when we have to be at 100% in the best way, how we can train in different intensities. That was very important.

“Now, of course, it’s more and more interesting when we play where, the times are really important because we will see how we can organise the travel stuff.”

No Spurs slip-up’

Meanwhile, Harry Kane believes Tottenham Hotspur will have to win eight of their remaining nine Premier League games if they are to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

The north London club were seven points adrift of the top four when the coronavirus shut down the season in March.

ZENITHY POOL VILLAS

Then it was thought the likes of Kane, Son Heung-min and Steven Bergwijn would miss the rest of the campaign through injury.

But the trio, as well as Moussa Sissoko, are all set to be fit in time for the planned restart of June 17, although young striker Troy Parrott will be sidelined after having his appendix removed.

Eighth-placed Spurs face crunch matches against Manchester United, Sheffield United, Arsenal and Leicester.

Their hopes of Champions League qualification would also be boosted if Manchester City fail in an appeal against a European ban.

But Kane wants Spurs to take matters into their own hands.

“We have got to finish in the top four, there is no doubt about that,” he told the club’s website.

“We have got a massive game against Man United in the first game and realistically we are going to have to win seven or eight to get into the Champions League.

“That has got to be our aim. Of course we want to win every game but we have got to make sure we finish strong if we want to be playing Champions League football next season.”

Kane suffered a hamstring injury against Southampton on New Year’s Day but with the season suspended, the England captain has been able to recover without the worry of missing matches.

“From the hamstring point of view it is great to be able to give it a bit more rest,” the star forward said. “I have not played a game for six months now, it has been a long, long time.”

Shock to the system’

Spurs only sit four points behind Man United in fifth, which could be good enough for a Champions League spot depending on the result of Man City’s appeal.

Kane, a two-time Premier League Golden Boot winner, has scored 17 goals for Tottenham in all competitions this season, including 11 from 20 appearances in the league.

“I am feeling good, I am feeling sharp,” he added. “It has been good to do some individual training, a bit of finishing, a lot of individual drills to work on my game and improve.

“I am at a stage where I am looking forward to getting some games and hopefully I’ll be back playing before too long.

“It is a good shock to the system. It has been very intense...

“Hopefully I’ll be back in a better place (than) before I was injured and look forward to a busy next year.”

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