Jurgen Klopp has admitted that Liverpool gained more time to train after failing to qualify for the Europa League this season. Klopp also backed his decision to bench Loris Karius in the club’s 3-0 win over Middlesbrough on Wednesday, saying he is not bothered by critics.
Liverpool lost 1-3 to defending champions Sevilla in the final of the Europa League last season and also failed to qualify for any European competition for the 2016-17 season.
“It's a difference like
“Even though we'd love to play in Europe, it's also an advantage for us. Those are effectively two different jobs when you can train all season and have to cope with a lot of matches, also European ones, (like) the previous season. You need to have done the one job to be ready for the other.”
The former Dortmund boss also explained the differences between watching and managing in the Premier League.
“Of course we have watched the Premier League in Germany and got our own impression,” he said.
“But then you start to work over here and that picture changes, no doubt. Take the winter break – between the last match in Germany before the winter break and the first one after the break, we must play 10 matches with Liverpool.
“I do not need a winter break, it's all good. But it's a big difference to deal with it.”
Klopp opined that the tight schedule of the Premier League makes it difficult for players to get proper rest and difficult for the manager to pick his best XI for every match.
“The intensity of the league and the quality of the opponents make it nearly impossible to spare four players for a match on Saturday after a match during the week because you immediately risk losing that second match,” he said.
On Wednesday Simon Mignolet replaced first-choice keeper Karius, who was recently criticised for his errors against West Ham and Bournemouth. But Klopp said that he was not bothered about what critics say.
“I'm not interested in public pressure, I'm interested in the boy,” Klopp said. “There's no reason to push him through the situation, he loses confidence.
“I know him really well and he's much better than he has been in the last two games. It's a situation which Liverpool have as a long-term project.”