Jürgen Klopp discussed a range of topics at his pre-match press conference on Friday – read a summary of the manager’s key points at Melwood.

On Lazar Markovic’s move to Fulham…

For him, it’s brilliant. I can imagine it was unbelievably difficult for him. It was not too easy for me – [though] that’s not too important – having a player like him in the wider squad and not using him. But it was clear, Lazar knew for a long time how our plans are, and for different reasons transfers didn’t work out. We were not responsible for that. Now he can go to Fulham and use and show his potential again, which I’m happy for. He’s a good lad and a really good footballer – hopefully it will work out for him.

On suggestions that Liverpool only cleared half the pitch of snow on Wednesday night…

The situation, like probably everybody saw, was that when we were warming up it started snowing but the pitch was completely OK. Then we went in and when we came out it was full of hail or wet snow; it was really difficult, the pitch was difficult. In the first half we had around about 80 per cent of the ball, so only one team really suffered from that – and that was us. But [it was] not because of that. It was clear that our ground staff tried to clear it but we didn’t have enough manpower. They realised how difficult it was in the moment when they started doing it, not more. There was no plan, nobody told them to do it – I can promise that or swear or whatever. Nobody told them to clear our side – their box – where we are more often.

I heard people say it’s gamesmanship. But you can see there’s an advantage as well if their box is clean, then it’s better to defend. It’s not much of a coincidence that in the first half we scored a goal in a box full of snow. We cannot change that. In England people are obviously not used to it. In Germany you would give shovels to all the people – even in the stands – and you have 15 minutes to clear it. The heating obviously couldn’t deal with it. At the end it was a bit better, you saw that immediately then in the game. But it was a difficult pitch to play on.

On how Liverpool cope with any ‘nervousness’…

It’s a situation in sport and you have to create an atmosphere and a belief and a mood in the team over the full season or, in our case, over the last three-and-a-half years. That’s what we do, we always go for it. We had a lot of situations with tight games at the end of the season, qualifying [for the Champions League], we twice had the chance to go to a final in European competition and twice we went there. Yes, we lost in the finals but that was not because we were nervous, it was for other reasons. We developed well in that department – we had a lot of stressful situations and did it anyway. We don’t do anything different, we’re always in talks, we’re always positive about our situation. We do what we always do: we prepare ourselves and handle our situation our own way. We have no influence on the feelings and stuff from other people. It was always clear if you want to win something there will always be a bunch of people who hope you will win and another bunch of people who hope you will lose. Actually, you have to ignore pretty much both in your preparation, and at the end hopefully you can celebrate with the ones who want you to win something.

On whether, at the start of the season, he expected Liverpool to be top of the table at this stage of the season…

No. I think a completely logical suggestion – especially if you think about last season – is you have to expect [Manchester] City being top of the table again, with a comfortable lead, I would say. We were all good last year, we had fantastic football games, played super football in different games, that’s all clear, but in the end they were so consistent it was unbelievable and I didn’t see any sign why it should not be like this again this year. So far, they’ve played a fantastic season as well, just ours is a little bit better so far. That’s all. We didn’t think about it, we didn’t expect it; maybe people dreamt of it, but there was no reason to think that far ahead. We don’t think now until May, so why should we have thought last summer about May 2019? It’s just the job to do and play the best football you are able to play. That’s actually enough. If you try it week in, week out, it is enough work to do to achieve that.

On the expectation levels surrounding the club…

We spoke about that in December when we said each game feels like the most important of the season – the only little difference is we won a lot of them and that’s really difficult. You need in specific moments two things: a little bit of luck – it’s always like this – and the right decisions from the referee. In this game against Leicester, I think it was clear we were a bit unlucky with a couple of decisions. It’s not a problem, we don’t blame that or moan about it – it’s just a fact.

If the reality check was: can we play 1-1 against Leicester? Then, yes, that’s the reality. Other teams can lose and can draw and we can do that as well. I saw that we tried everything to win it. The start, especially, was brilliant and then we lost it a bit. We had a fantastic goal and a fantastic situation with Bobby – nice chip, nice chest, shot at goal, brilliant save by Schmeichel. Their one big chance from Maddison we gave them because Ali was a bit late because he had to judge the ball differently as well. The ball came and it was a bit slower, that’s why there was a block, there was the cross and then Maddison with the header. Then the other big chance, Maguire was offside. If that would have been a goal then we would have been really unlucky that day. Then we all know all about the situation with Sadio going through. If you see the situation again, it is a 100 per cent chance because on the other side Mo is going through. Unlucky, it happened, the ref judged it differently.

The reality check is that you have to do whatever you can to win a game and still accept that some things can go against you. We will go again and we will go again. Did I feel brilliant after the game? No. Did I feel really good the next day? Yes, when I woke up in the morning because I was still healthy and, together with my boys, young enough to reach everything – and the sun was shining! Everything was fine, so let’s go again and again and again and don’t think about the last game, or here we dropped [points] or there we dropped [points]. If other teams wouldn’t have dropped points, we would not be first in the table. That’s the nature of the game, it can happen and you have to do the best you can as often as somehow possible. Then at the end of the season you will see what happened.

On what he expects from West Ham…

A lot, to be honest. We started the season against West Ham with a brilliant game from us and not a very good game from West Ham. That day they had a lot of new players, a new manager and all that stuff, and we were strong. That made life quite uncomfortable. Then they still had a couple of weeks where they really had to find [something] together. But they did it and now they are one of the strongest teams. It was a really bad start; since then they are nearly a top-six side. And that’s what we should expect. The most experienced manager, I think, in the Premier League at the moment; a really good football team; really good signings in defence. They are experienced in the full-back positions, Rice, fantastic development this season next to Noble in midfield, experience and youth. Then you have the wings – Anderson, fantastic signing, and Marko Arnautovic an outstanding striker. Now having Samir Nasri around, Snodgrass really back on track, Fabianski in goal, that’s a really good football team. That’s what we have to be ready for again. It’s not to compare with the first game of the season. We expected a very difficult game that day; it was not that difficult but for two reasons: we were really good and they were not ready that day. But now they are ready and that’s a completely different cup of tea.

On Naby Keita’s development…

I’m happy so far but there’s still a lot to come. Naby is an outstanding player but still has to improve – gain minutes, games, language, all that stuff, get more settled. Everything will be fine and it’s fine so far but we can really expect a lot more still, that’s how it is.

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