Thursday 24 October 2019

'We are not magicians' - Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp with words of praise for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool face Manchester United on Sunday
Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool face Manchester United on Sunday
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has offered up a glowing assessment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first few weeks in charge of Manchester United and declared the Norwegian tactician 'belongs at a top club'.

Liverpool will take on Manchester United in one of the most eagerly anticipated Premier League games of the season at Old Trafford on Sunday, with a victory for the home side likely to provide a huge boost to Solskjaer's hopes of landing the United job on a permanent basis.

Solskjaer's role as interim manager is due to expire at the end of this season, but eleven wins and a draw from twelve matches in domestic competition has seen him installed as a firm favourite to be named as the club's permanent manager.

Now Klopp has offered his backing to Solskjaer, in an interview with Sky Sports, as he dismissed the notion that anyone could have lifted the spirits in a United dressing room that had lost direction under Jose Mourinho's watch in the first half of this season.

"I'm a manager myself and I know that we are not magicians," said Klopp. "It is not like we can come in and say 'you are not good, but I can make you really good'!

"We are blessed with really good players around us and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is doing a brilliant job. It is all about bringing out the potential of the team, improving the quality, and that is what he obviously did and that makes him a manager for a top club.

"I didn't know him, I met him one time - I think - last year at a training game in La Manga, where he was with the Norwegian team, and so we had a little chat. He is a nice fellow, that is for sure, and what he did so far is obviously brilliant."

Klopp went on to suggest he is unsure what tactics Solskjaer's side will delay against Liverpool, after United used a more cautious approach in last Monday's FA Cup victory against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

"We will see how they play against us. I think they are able to play different ways," he added. "They are much more front-footed for sure now, that is clear, but their counter attacks are a massive threat, especially when (Anthony) Martial and (Jesse) Lingard get fit again.

"It is not only one thing they are good at. There are a few ways where you can at least give them a few questions they don't have easy answers for - but it will be a very physical game and very demanding for both teams."

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