Boss look­ing be­yond Reds ace Coutinho

Klopp up­beat over Liver­pool chances

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports International - LIVER­POOL/

Liver­pool mid­fielder Philippe Coutinho could be set for lengthy spell on the side­lines af­ter the Brazil­ian in­ter­na­tional suf­fered an an­kle in­jury dur­ing Satur­day’s Premier League win over Sun­der­land.

Bri­tish me­dia re­ported that the 24-year-old Coutinho was set to be out of ac­tion for five to six weeks af­ter scans on Mon­day con­firmed he had suf­fered an­kle lig­a­ment dam­age fol­low­ing a first half class with Di­dier Ndong in the 2-0 win at An­field.

Man­ager Jur­gen Klopp, how­ever, re­mains con­fi­dent his Liver­pool side pos­sess enough qual­i­ties to min­imise the im­pact of Coutinho’s ab­sence.

“Phil Coutinho is a re­ally good foot­ball player and if we can’t use him for the next few days or weeks then ev­ery team in the world would feel that. That’s how it is but there is no ex­cuse for any­thing,” he told re­porters on Mon­day.

“Phil, as good as he is, can­not de­cide games on his own even if it looks like that at times. He drib­bles, he shoots and he is im­por­tant but it is re­ally a team per- for­mance that we have cre­ated.

“He’s a very im­por­tant part of that but of course we can han­dle it.

“It’s not the best thing I can imag­ine or dream about, to show that we can play with­out Phil, but we have to show it and we will show it.”

With Coutinho join­ing mid­fielder Adam Lal­lana and striker Daniel Stur­ridge on the treat­ment ta­ble, a po­ten­tial in­jury cri­sis threat­ens to un­der­mine Liver­pool’s strong start to the sea­son but Klopp in­sisted he would not hide be­hind ex­cuses.

“Phil’s not in, Adam is close but not in, Daniel is not in; they are all qual­ity play­ers but we don’t look for ex­cuses,” the charis­matic Ger­man added of the side’s po­ten­tial lineup for Tues­day’s League Cup quar­ter-fi­nal against Leeds United.

“We want to show it’s pos­si­ble to play the way we play foot­ball with­out them, but of course it is bet­ter if they are all fit.”

Klopp also sug­gested he might dip into the trans­fer mar­ket if the Mersey­side club’s in­jury sit­u­a­tion wors­ened.

REUTERS

Liver­pool’s Philippe Coutinho re­acts af­ter sus­tain­ing an in­jury

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