Friday 24 January 2020

Eddie Howe: Jurgen Klopp imprinting his ideas on Liverpool

Eddie Howe wants focus from his Bournemouth side over the final five games
Eddie Howe wants focus from his Bournemouth side over the final five games

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe believes Jurgen Klopp is now imprinting his own ideas on Liverpool, but is focused on making sure the Cherries keep up their own performance levels over the final five matches of the season.

The Reds head to the Vitality Stadium on Sunday having secured a place in the semi-finals of the Europa League following a remarkable 4-3 victory over Borussia Dortmund at Anfield with a stoppage-time goal from Dejan Lovren.

German Klopp has slowly transformed the make-up of the Liverpool team since his arrival at the start of October, albeit with sporadic impact in the Barclays Premier League, where they are in eighth place.

Howe has been impressed by Liverpool's development into a new approach, but aims to check that progress on Sunday.

"It was one of those famous European nights at Anfield and the way they came back was really impressive and you can see the work Jurgen Klopp has done with his team," Howe said at a press conference.

"They are a strong side and he is imprinting his ideas on them, you can see that with the way they press and work. That is a hallmark of his Borussia Dortmund team and you can see he has implemented that on his players at Liverpool.

"I think we will possibly see a different team (selection on Sunday) because they might rotate their side. They have some big games to come.

"We will anticipate a hard-working and full of energy Liverpool team. You can't predict them too much, we have to focus on what we are going to do."

Bournemouth are all but secure of a second season in the Premier League after a win at bottom club Aston Villa moved them onto 41 points.

Howe, though, has no intentions of letting anyone's work-rate drop.

He said: " The media are so forceful these days that the players will have read 'we are safe' etc, the main thing for me is we focus on our performance, give our very best and give our supporters what we want.

"I want us to give our very best and give the supporters what they want. We weren't happy with how we played against Tottenham and Manchester City and want to do better, especially against the top sides.

"When you get to this stage, you're looking at individual games and trying to get the maximum from them. We are trying to enjoy them and learn from them.

"I am not going to say we are safe, we have still got five games to play, some big games for the football club, some great games against the teams that are the bigger names in the division, so we want to do ourselves proud."

Striker Callum Wilson made a welcome return from six months out with an anterior cruciate ligament injury when he made a late substitute appearance at Villa Park.

Howe will take things slowly with the 24-year-old, who had scored five goals before his setback.

"It was great to be able to write his name on the team-sheet. It gave everyone a lift, but we need to keep a close eye on him," said Howe.

"He hasn't had a reserve game yet so he is still some way short of his best. I don't think we'll see that until next season."

PA Media

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