Saturday 16 February 2019

Jurgen Klopp backs his misfiring front men to find form for Liverpool

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is confident his goalscorers will hit form soon
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is confident his goalscorers will hit form soon

Carl Markham

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is confident his misfiring players will rediscover their goalscoring touch soon - so the trip to Newcastle could not have come at a better time.

In the Premier League era the Magpies have become their favourite opponents, with the Merseysiders scoring 88 times against them with 36 coming at St James' Park - more than they have managed at any other stadium in that time.

Their next strike will be their 100th league goal of all time on the ground and there has not been a goalless draw in any of the last 62 league fixtures between the teams, a run dating back to February 1974.

Striker Daniel Sturridge has scored seven times against them in the league (five at St James') and he has five in five Liverpool appearances against them.

But even without those statistics, Klopp has no concerns about the goals returning after taking 120 shots but scoring just seven goals in five matches since the 5-0 loss to Manchester City on September 9.

"We all know these boys will score. The difficult thing in a situation like this is to stay confident and do it again and again and again," said the Reds boss.

"From an average moment there are two directions: less than average and better than average. My work is to help the boys to make sure we do better.

"It makes no sense to criticise finishing, it is about creating. We talk about how to create more.

"It is still my responsibility - but I cannot shoot from the bench."

Klopp is likely to start his Fab Four of Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane for the second successive match - and first occasion in the league - at Newcastle.

The quartet showed glimpses of their threat in the 1-1 Champions League draw with Spartak Moscow but their manager knows there is plenty more to come.

"I really don't think this game is the game to judge this combination," he said.

Obviously Sadio (serving a three-match domestic suspension) had nine or 10 days with no football game, so had a little bit of lack of rhythm. Still very good situations but not as good as he could be.

"All four in the best moment is an unbelievable threat but you can do nothing without the other six on the pitch.

"The big improvement of this team in the moment so far is that we really create a lot.

"We had a lot of talks in the last two years when we played against sides who are only defending and we don't create enough.

"That has changed and we've made a big step in this. So far it doesn't lead to the results that we want but in a few moments you cannot create bigger chances.

"We scored goals from much more difficult situations than the ones we've missed so far."

Press Association

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport