Klopp shrugs off los­ing build-up to Wem­b­ley

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Football - By Alam Khan

Hav­ing suf­fered a third pre-sea­son de­feat in four games, Jur­gen Klopp in­sisted his Liv­er­pool side would be a “dif­fer­ent an­i­mal” when they take on Manch­ester City in the Com­mu­nity Shield.

The Cham­pi­ons League win­ners lost 3-0 to Napoli at Mur­ray­field, with Lorenzo In­signe, Arka­diusz Mi­lik and Amin Younes scor­ing for the Ital­ian side, who had lost 5-0 in a cor­re­spond­ing friendly a year ago.

Klopp, miss­ing key men Mo­hamed Salah, Sa­dio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Alis­son, said there was no cause for con­cern, but ex­pects an improvemen­t when they face Premier League cham­pi­ons City at Wem­b­ley on Sun­day.

“I think the worst thing that could have hap­pened is if we won all our games with­out the six play­ers, ev­ery­one fly­ing from last year and then get­ting the prob­lems in the sea­son,” the Liv­er­pool man­ager said. “It was of course not good. I’m pretty sure we will play bet­ter foot­ball and it’s nec­es­sary as well.

“It’s been a strange pre-sea­son. Every­body tells you con­stantly con­grat­u­la­tions, and be­fore the game Napoli were very nice and gave us a bot­tle of red wine.

“The good thing is if op­po­nents want to an­a­lyse us now then they think ‘easy job’ – but we will be a dif­fer­ent an­i­mal next week.”

Klopp still rates City “big favourites” for the ti­tle and added: “It be­came a two-horse [race] last year, but there are too many good clubs in this com­pe­ti­tion [for that to happen]. Even City see it like this. They are the big favourites and all the others try to beat them. We are one of these teams. At least we should give it a try, but we have to play bet­ter foot­ball – and we will.”

On a pos­i­tive note, he gave winger Har­vey El­liott, 16, a de­but after his move from Ful­ham and said: “He could have gone pretty much ev­ery­where, but he wanted to be part of Liv­er­pool.

“Al­ready he is the youngest ever Premier League player and has bro­ken quite a few records be­cause of his talent. He is ob­vi­ously a fine, fine foot­baller.”

Carlo Ancelotti, the Napoli man­ager and three-time Cham­pi­ons League win­ner, said Liv­er­pool would challenge for ma­jor tro­phies again this sea­son. “They don’t have their three most im­por­tant play­ers so you can’t re­ally judge their team at this mo­ment,” he said.

New talent: Highly rated 16-year-old winger Har­vey El­liott made his Liv­er­pool de­but

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