Tuesday 25 October 2016

Jurgen Klopp doesn't want to start Daniel Sturridge out wide for Liverpool

Published 25/08/2016 | 11:31

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, right, with Daniel Sturridge
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, right, with Daniel Sturridge

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has no issue with Daniel Sturridge voicing his disappointment at being asked to play out wide and admits he has no intention of fielding him as a winger.

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The 26-year-old scored twice in the 5-0 EFL Cup win at Burton on Tuesday but afterwards admitted he was not happy playing out on the flank.

"Of course it's more difficult for me to play wide because I am a centre-forward," Sturridge said.

"I am not saying I am happy to do it, I am saying I have to do a job for the team."

Klopp still sees the striker as one of his main, if not the main, goalscorer in his side but wants him to add more movement and deception to his game.

"The first thing is I don't want to play Daniel as a wide player but of course he can start there and play there but in the decisive moments he needs to be involved in all the finishing situations," said the Reds boss.

"I think both goals (against Burton) he scored inside the box so he was not on the wing in this moment - that is flexible football.

"That is how football works, it is not a fixed position (where you) stay outside and wait until you get the ball - especially not in Daniel's case.

"At the end you need enough players in and around the box for finishing.

"When a striker plays in the centre it makes no sense so you have to change positions.

"Daniel is a very smart player in hiding himself in positions where it is not easy to defend and it is very often in a wing position.

"When he is not involved any more in defending you need a smart striker who takes the centre-half and moves them into a position where they don't feel comfortable.

"It is only a starting position for the next offensive move for my team.

"We don't have these positions any more where you say, 'You play this all the time', it is normal.

"We have still to work on a lot of things. I know him and when we have talks there is no issue."

Liverpool had a couple of injury worries left over from the Burton match with midfielder Emre Can (ankle) and striker Divock Origi (cramp) unlikely to be fit to face Tottenham on Saturday.

Klopp added on Can: "There is nothing really serious in the ankle but it is the ankle where he had a few problems in the past so it should not be too long.

"It is the same with Divock; it is nothing serious but if you have a cramp you need to have a look at it so it is not for sure they will be available."

Players who definitely will not feature at the weekend include the likes of striker Mario Balotelli and winger Lazar Markovic.

The club have been trying to offload the pair but with less than a week remaining of the transfer window options are becoming limited.

Klopp has no room for them in his squad but admits he has not considered what to do should the club struggle to sell them before next week.

"You have to make decisions about your squad," he said.

"Building an ideal squad is where everyone has the perspective to play.

"You need to have these players who are convinced they have to start and have to be angry when they don't start.

"We don't have 60-something games and to have a good atmosphere all players need to see their perspective and that is what we are working for.

"There is no reason at this moment to think about what could happen if we have too big a squad because we are working on this side but I cannot say anything about it until September 1."

Press Association

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