‘I love this football team’ – 4 key takeaways from Klopp’s post-Newcastle press conference – Liverpool FC

Jurgen Klopp had plenty of praise to pass on after seeing his side claim their 25th league win of the season thanks to Naby Keita’s strike at Newcastle.

Here are four key things about the manager after his side’s precious win at Newcastle:

“An exceptional football game”

The trip to St James’ Park has long been seen as a potential banana peel and while all signs pointed to Newcastle having an enjoyable afternoon, Klopp was delighted his side had something else to say about it.

“It was incredibly difficult for the boys today, to be honest,” Klopp said.

“We played two and a half days ago, coming here as a fit team, six home wins in a row, great weather, everyone in good spirits – everything was ready for another home win.

“The only group that wanted to avoid that was my players, it was an exceptional game of football.”

“I should have seen their faces”

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - Saturday April 30, 2022: Liverpool's Naby Keita celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the FA Premier League match between Newcastle United FC and Liverpool FC at St James' Park.  (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

To compete in four competitions and to death in each, every player must play their part, Liverpool have had plenty of that.

After five changes on Saturday, he returned to center stage and the coach was quick to praise the quality and character of all his players.

“That’s the only reason we’re where we are. That’s the only reason,” Klopp said.

“The boy bought into the situation completely and the boys who didn’t come today, you should have seen their faces on the bench when we had the final whistle.

“The group is exceptional. Exceptionally talented and a very good character.

Milner’s influence

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - Saturday April 30, 2022: Bruno Guimarães of Newcastle United is tackled by James Milner of Liverpool during the FA Premier League match between Newcastle United FC and Liverpool FC at St James' Park.  (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

James Milner has made just his 13th start of the season at his former home and duly impressed, prompting much praise from Klopp for his role in this team.

“Milly is Milly, it’s incredibly important to us. People talk about the dressing room [influence] and yes, it is really useful there.

“Especially with a manager who is not a native speaker.

“But on the pitch too, he played a great game. I don’t want to take anything away from him but I loved Naby too and Hendo in No6.

“It’s hard to be in better shape than Milly and she’s a role model.

“I told him and I can tell the whole world: nothing we would have achieved in recent years would have happened without James Milner, whether he was on the pitch or not.

“He sets the standards in a lot of ways that others can’t. We have all been educated.

Disease strikes three

PRESTON, ENGLAND - Wednesday, October 27, 2021: Liverpool's Divock Origi (L) celebrates with team mate Kostas Tsimikas after scoring the second goal in the English Football League Cup Round of 4 match between Preston North End FC and Liverpool FC in Deepdale.  Liverpool won 2-0.  (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Curtis Jones and Kostas Tsimikas were both out midweek due to illness, not Covid, and Divock Origi then suffered the same fate for Saturday’s game.

Klopp’s hope now is that it doesn’t continue to spill over into the team.

“Divock Origi had a bit of vomiting and stomach issues, we’ve had that before with Curtis and Kostas.

“We have to make sure that doesn’t happen, that’s why he wasn’t involved.”

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