Jurgen Klopp believes the USA tour may have been a bit too taxing for some of his players as they head into the final preparations of their pre-season schedule ahead of the new Premier League campaign.
The Reds, who tasted success last term with a superb Champions League victory over Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid, finished their tour of America last night with a 2-2 draw against Sporting Lisbon in the Western Union Cup at the Yankee Stadium, New York — and the German coach said that the nine-day trip was “intense” in his post-match comments to the club’s official website.
After watching Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum grab the goals that earned the Anfield giants the draw, Klopp said:
“It was an intense time with three games in a pretty short period after a couple of days’ training in Liverpool for the boys who were in from the first day, it was absolutely OK; for the others it was maybe a bit too much, but we had to do it anyway for different reasons. So, all good.”
But the intensity of which Klopp spoke will continue for the Reds as they now head to Scotland to take on Italian outfit Napoli at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Park on Sunday before then jetting off to a training camp in Evian, France before the real action starts with the opening fixture of the new season against Norwich City at Anfield.
Yet despite the busy time, defender Joel Matip says the Stateside tour has provided the Reds players with a decent grounding as far as their fitness is concerned with the new season around the corner.
The German-born Cameroon international star agreed with his manager that the tour was intense and added that he and his team-mates
“worked hard to get a better fitness level and to get back in the mood. We still have a lot of work to do and we are working hard. I’m looking forward and we are confident. We know it’s a long way to go and we still have to improve.”
Meanwhile, Klopp had some bad news with which to contend as the news emerged of a serious injury to Reds ace Nathaniel Clyne. The defender is now preparing for a long stint out of action after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury in the pre-season friendly with German giants Borussia Dortmund. The Reds chief said that the entire Liverpool set-up is
“gutted for Clyney. He was training and playing so well — he was in outstanding shape”.
Clearly an injury of this type has to be carefully monitored as far as rehab is concerned — for any player and what is most crucial is that they still retain the hope of reigniting their playing days but, Klopp says, the medical team say
“it’s a straightforward ACL injury. This means fixing it and coming back from it should follow a path that is free from pitfalls and complications”.