Monday 18 December 2017

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says Steven Gerrard is 'always so welcome' at Anfield

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Simon Hughes

Jürgen Klopp suggested that Steven Gerrard would not be returning to Liverpool any time soon after the former captain used social media to suggest his spell at Los Angeles Galaxy might soon be coming to an end.

“He is always so welcome at Liverpool FC you cannot imagine how welcome so absolutely no problem but everything we talk about stays in this talk," Klopp said. "That is how I know Stevie and that is how I am. People shouldn’t worry that we have no space for Steven Gerrard.”

Klopp was speaking after seeing his team push into second position in the Premier League with victory following goals from Sadio Mané and Philippe Coutinho. Liverpool would have been top had Gareth McAuley not volleyed in late on for West Bromwich Albion, causing more nervous moments in the closing minutes of the game than there would have been had their domination been reflected by the scoreline.

Tony Pulis did not need to be asked about Liverpool’s title credentials inside Anfield’s new press room. Instead, he offered his thoughts voluntarily, revealing that he believes Klopp’s side have a genuine chance.

“Their front five is as good as anything in the league,” Pulis said. “They’ve got a free run at it this year. They’re not in Europe. They’ve not had to travel through the week, which is draining irrespective of what people say. Last time they came close under Brendan [Rodgers]; the situation was the same. This team has got a real chance.”

Klopp insisted that a 2-1 victory rather than a more considerable one might prove to be of greater psychological significance for Liverpool.

“In dreamland you want to win four-nil or five-nil and the crowd can go early and do something more important. We created chances but didn’t use the chances. In this moment it feels better that we won only 2-1.

“Who wants to be top in October?” he continued, joking. “We did not keep a clean sheet and it’s not a big problem. The first aim with defending is to limit chances. The goal we conceded was luck. The cross was brilliant. I have absolutely no problem with the goal we conceded tonight. We defended as a team quite good and with set-pieces we’ve already improved.

“It was not possible that we get more than three points tonight. It’s really difficult to be satisfied with results. But a 2-1 keeps us more awake than a 4-0. It reminds us football is not easy.”

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