Lovren: I need painkillers to get through games

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - SOCCER -

LIVER­POOL de­fender De­jan Lovren has ad­mit­ted to tak­ing painkillers to get through games as he bat­tles a se­ries of in­juries that pre­vent him from train­ing. Lovren, 28, says back and Achilles in­juries have left him in ter­ri­ble pain and forced him to med­i­cate in or­der to play. He missed the Pre­mier League games against Manch­ester City and Burn­ley but took painkillers in or­der to get on the field in the win over Le­ices­ter last week­end and the mid­week Cham­pi­ons League draw at Spar­tak Moscow.

“I have prob­lems with my whole body for the last two weeks, my back and now I have hurt my Achilles ten­don,” Lovren said. “I am tak­ing pills so I can play, five be­fore ev­ery game. I play but I can­not train at all. That’s why I skipped matches against Manch­ester City and Burn­ley.”

Liver­pool’s de­fence has been very leaky, con­ced­ing 17 goals so far this season, with Jür­gen Klopp un­able to rely on a set­tled back line.

Klopp is more pos­i­tive about his team at the other end of the pitch. Espe­cially as he is able to add Sa­dio Mané, back from a three-match sus­pen­sion, into an at­tack­ing quar­tet of Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Mo­hamed Salah against New­cas­tle to­day.

“All four in the best mo­ment is an un­be­liev­able threat but you can do nothing with­out the other six on the pitch,” said Klopp. “The big im­prove­ment of this team 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.”

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