Monday 24 April 2017

Jurgen Klopp to take Liverpool squad to Spain for five-day second 'pre-season' as fixture congestion clears

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp celebrates after the game on Saturday
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp celebrates after the game on Saturday

Chris Bascombe

Jurgen Klopp is take his players away from for warm weather training as he uses Liverpool’s FA Cup exit to enforce a mini winter break.

The Liverpool manager says he has the opportunity to create a second ‘pre-season’ ahead of the final 13 Premier League games. The Liverpool players will head to La Manga in Spain on Wednesday where they will spend five days.

The change of scene is not entirely due to the climate, however.

Initially, Klopp made an approach to the Football Association to see if St George’s Park was available, but it is in use this week.

He also considered taking his squad to Scotland, as well as Celtic Manor in Wales.

Instead, Liverpool will head to Europe as they seek to build on their impressive victory over Tottenham Hotspur last weekend, reviving confidence they can secure Champions League qualification.

“Now we are in (a second) pre-season. We will use this and we will go again and again and again,” said the Liverpool manager, who gave his players two days off following their 2-0 win over Spurs.

Having cursed the demanding fixture schedule at the turn of the year, Liverpool’s cup disappointment has significantly impacted on their number of fixtures between now and May. This is in stark contrast to their rivals for a Champions League place.

Manchester United’s Europa League campaign starts again this week, and they also have the EFL Cup and FA Cup to play for. Tottenham also have the Europa League and FA Cup, while Manchester City and Arsenal must contend with the Champions League and FA Cup demands alongside trying to secure their top four position.

Fixture congestion will be no excuse for Liverpool for the next few months, Klopp’s managerial rivals more likely to be upset by the peculiarities of the English calendar.

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