Jurgen Klopp with a transfer hint after his much-changed side win at Stoke
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp gave a hint that he has no plans to make big changes to his squad in the January transfer window after a 3-0 win at Stoke.
A goal from Sadio Mane and two more from in the in-form Mohamed Salah - who started this latest Premier League game on the bench - eased Liverpool ahead of Tottenham and into fifth place in the table, with Klopp content with the options he now has at his disposal.
The Liverpool boss made six changes to his line-up from Saturday's 1-1 draw against Chelsea, but his side ran out comfortable winners in a game loaded with incident at the Bet365 Stadium.
Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was lucky to stay on the pitch with the score at 1-0 after a wild hack at Mame Biram Diouf but referee Martin Atkinson infuriated Potters manager Mark Hughes and his players by only issuing a yellow card.
The official had already angered the hosts with Sadio Mane's opener, with defenders arguing the ball had gone out of play in the build-up, but there was no doubt about Salah's two late strikes which took him to 17 for the season.
"It was hard work, but that’s how football should be – especially when you go to places like Stoke, so it was no surprise," said Klopp.
"I think we could have made it a little bit easier for ourselves in the first half if we’d used the two fantastic chances we had. They were not lucky or anything; they were brilliant, brilliant play.
"We didn’t use them, so we needed a little bit of luck in the situation around the yellow card for Simon Mignolet – I don’t think it was a red card, but of course they could have scored in that situation and then the free-kick from Shaqiri was another real threat.
"Second half, it was still an open goal but we should have been clearer in different situations with better passing in this moment, or a little bit cooler in another situation.
"Then we changed twice and could decide the game. Two fantastic goals [from Salah], brilliant play – especially the second goal and the third one was a nice counter-attack a nice finish. In the end, it was well deserved but it was hard work. That’s how it is and no problem with that."
Klopp's successful rotation of his team fuelled Klopp's belief that he does not need to invest heavily in fresh players in the January transfer window, despite constant links with a move for a new centre-back.
"I am happy about the options I have," he added. "We thought about this option and that option. Ragnar Klavan was ill and Dejan Lovren was not fit in this moment, so if Raggy is fit Dejan is today not in the squad.
"Now he started and that’s how things are. Yes, we have options to change and I am happy about all of them – and Adam is not fit for another three or four days – but I am happy about the options."
Fifth-placed Liverpool now face a trip to Brighton on Saturday, as they look to edge closer to the Premier League's prized top four positions.