Jurgen Klopp admits that during a mixed performance against Aston Villa, Liverpool showed that they had “lots of players with no rhythm”
With a 4-1 win in the third-round tie of the FA Cup, the Reds emerged, but in the first half, they were well off the pace and reached the interval 1-1.
Although Liverpool fielded a good XI at Villa Park, their hosts were forced to name a team full of Under-23 and Under-18 players due to a coronavirus outbreak at the club’s training ground.
The much greater experience of the visitors showed that in the second half they rapidly built up a lead, but Klopp was worried about the overall results.
The Liverpool manager told BT Sport about how he will use the next nine days to prepare for the crucial Premier League clash with Manchester United: “Exactly, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
“Seriously necessary. We’ve got a lot of players who have no rhythm. But we’re going to do a lot of 11 vs. 11 scenarios [in training] because it’s a really important thing that we can’t give them too much for football players.
“Now we have the time and will use it for that yes.”
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Klopp also paid tribute to the spirited youngsters of Villa, who, relative to Liverpool’s average of well over 26 years, had an average age of only 18 years and 294 days.
“Yeah bit more of a challenge than it should have been but first and foremost we have to say that the kids did well – that’s good,” Klopp said.
We scored a good goal that didn’t move with the correct pace from that moment on. We had football issues.
In the second half, we saw that the problem with football was football. It’s cool. We needed a little bit longer, but it was totally clear then. Relaxed and as it was meant to be.’
Klopp added: “Problems in passing and moving against a deep defensive side,” pressed on what he meant by “football issues.”