EPL

Klopp keen for Liverpool to make most of lighter schedule

By Sports Desk January 11, 2019

Jurgen Klopp is disappointed that Liverpool are only in two competitions at this stage of the season, but he is hopeful the Premier League leaders can use the extra time on the training pitch to their advantage.

The Reds bowed out of the EFL Cup to Chelsea early on and were then beaten by Wolves in the FA Cup on Monday, leaving just the league and the Champions League on the table for the Anfield outfit this term.

But Klopp is keen to make the most of a disappointing situation as they look to hold off Manchester City in the title race, although he acknowledges the need to have a fully fit squad.

Liverpool made several changes for the clash with Wolves as fatigue and injuries mounted, while Fabinho may feature at centre-back against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday due to a shortage of defensive options.

"If you have the full squad together, it's massive [to have a lighter schedule]," Klopp told a pre-match news conference. "It's really good. That's my preferred rhythm.

"It's our situation - it's not that we decided to go out of the EFL Cup or the FA Cup ourselves or that it's not important. That's not how it is.

"We had Chelsea at home, which was probably the most difficult game, it was pretty tight and we lost it. Then Wolves was the situation and we had to make changes after the most intense month of the year in December.

"If we had played a League Two team [instead of Wolves], maybe the offensive line could have played because the intensity is different and you have the ball most of the time, you can play.

"Wolves make the pitch unbelievably big. You have to run. You cannot have the ball all the time. That means you have to understand the expected intensity of the game and you have to make a line-up. That's what we did and we had a few injuries on top.

"I would love to still be in these competitions, but we are not in them. We have to make the best of the time now. I know Pep [Guardiola] said he would prefer to be in four competitions. I would prefer the same.

"We have to make the best of the time and get as many points as possible."

He added: "You could do a lot of wrong things if you have a week to train. That's possible. We have to use the time to be in the best shape we can be.

"We have to understand the situation right, understand the job right, understand the challenge right and go for it. That's our job. Nothing else."

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