Soccer

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool ‘need miracles’ to get a few injured players back

The Merseyside club host Southampton in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday evening.

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool need “miracles with a few players”
Jurgen Klopp Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool need “miracles with a few players” (Adam Davy/PA)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp feels he needs “miracles” to get a number of his injured players back sooner rather than later.

Midfielder Ryan Gravenberch was the latest to be ruled out – for at least two matches – after he was carried off on a stretcher in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final victory over Chelsea.

But Wataru Endo is also a doubt for Wednesday’s FA Cup visit of Championship high-flyers Southampton after he left Wembley on crutches and wearing a protective boot, which would take the number of first-teamers unavailable to 13.

And Klopp admitted veteran midfielder Thiago Alcantara – who has made one five-minute substitute appearance since April – may not play again for the club as his contract expires in the summer.

Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Dominik Szoboszlai are closest to returning, but they may not be risked in the cup.

Mohamed Salah (right) is close to a return but may not be risked against Saints
Chelsea v Liverpool – Carabao Cup – Final – Wembley Stadium Mohamed Salah (right) is close to a return but may not be risked against Saints (Adam Davy/PA)

“We need miracles with a few players,” Klopp said. “I don’t want to rule them out for too long.

“But it is touch and go with a lot of players who were not available for the final: Darwin, Mo, Dom – we have to see what they can do (on Tuesday).

“In an ideal world you’d think about these kind of things but we obviously don’t live in an ideal world so we will see when the players arrive and they get checked.

“When the players arrive and I can look in their eyes and see who might be ready then I will make the line-up.”

Klopp is likely to have to rely on a number of the younger players who made such an impression at Wembley, with 19-year-olds Bobby Clark, son of former Newcastle midfielder Lee, and James McConnell likely to start against Saints.

Bobby Clark was among the Liverpool youngsters to impress at Wembley
Chelsea v Liverpool – Carabao Cup – Final – Wembley Stadium Bobby Clark was among the Liverpool youngsters to impress at Wembley (Adam Davy/PA)

Although the pair have made just one start apiece in cup competitions this season, Klopp has total faith in their ability to step up in the team’s hour of need – although he urged fans to make allowances for them.

“First and foremost, they don’t have to show anything. Our boys played in youth teams and under-21s and only came up recently and trained with us: absolutely nil experience but a lot of talent and they showed that,” he added.

“If you play more of them (against Southampton) from the start and we have a look and think, ‘Hmm, they are not as good as I thought on Sunday’, that would be horrendous so there is absolutely no pressure.

“All what these boys have to do is to really enjoy what they are doing. They have to defend like men, otherwise they cannot play.

“I saw them doing that (on Sunday) and it obviously helped and it gave confidence and there are so many things you cannot buy. Usually you need years for getting these kind of experiences that they got in a flash.

“It’s possible and a few of them have to start, that is clear, and if they do they will do the job and we all have to help them with celebrating the right things and not moaning about the wrong things.”

Following the capture of a record-extending 10th League Cup on Sunday, Liverpool have made tentative moves regarding an end-of-season parade.

It is not something they would not usually do for a victory in that competition but they want to mark the end of Klopp’s nine-year reign this summer.

“That is the one part which is not so cool that it could be seen as that (a farewell to him)” he said. “I don’t think that makes sense.

“But besides that, I am a big supporter of trophy parades and if there is a parade I will be on the bus, no doubt about that.”