Wednesday 23 January 2019

Dressing-room atmosphere is key to our superb start to season - Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA

Chris Bascombe

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool are reaping the rewards of player power and a dressing-room of leaders as they seek to maintain their title bid.

While Jose Mourinho's Manchester United reign unravelled amid toxic and dysfunctional player/coach relationships, the contrast at Liverpool - where players are thriving under Klopp's man-management - could not have escaped the attention of the United hierarchy last weekend.

Liverpool would extend their lead over Manchester City to four points with victory at Wolves tonight.

No Liverpool team has won more league points at this stage of a Premier League season.

Klopp believes the harmony in his squad is driving the club forward and says it would be impossible to maintain a winning run without a united dressing-room with inspirational personalities.

"No chance," said Klopp.

"It is never about one player or a second player.

"It helps massively in our case that Alisson (Becker) and Virgil (van Dijk) are fantastic boys who 'solved' our problems, if you like, but in a s*** dressing-room there is no chance.

Injury

"Jordan Henderson didn't start against United, or James Milner, because of injury, but if you see who is talking in our dressing-room before a game when the music is loud and people are shouting, it is those two.

"Now Virgil starts, even Alisson throws in a few words. It is always the same players.

"I never had a problem with getting a dressing-room like that. So far, I always had a good one.

"Of course, the experience and the ride to the Champions League final helps a lot, the atmosphere around these games was outstanding."

Klopp will welcome Milner back to his side at Molineux, possibly at right-back.

Although his team lead the way, he is maintaining his pre-season belief that Liverpool are underdogs like "Rocky Balboa" trying to overcome City.

"They are the current champions. And they still play like champions. We are all the challengers," said Klopp.

"Being completely neutral about it, I look at it and say, 'Yes, the team to beat are obviously City'."

Wolves will be without striker Diogo Jota, who suffered a hamstring injury in the 2-0 win over Bournemouth last weekend.

Wolves v Liverpool, Live, Sky Sports, 8.0

Irish Independent

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