Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool need miracle to get a few injured players back

KLOOP

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

Midfielder Ryan Gravenberch has been suspended for the latest time – for at least two games – after being 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 to Southampton with the Championship’s best players after leaving Wembley on crutches and in a protective boot, which would take the number of unavailable first-team members to 13.

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

Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Dominik Szoboszlai are the closest to a return, but there is no need to risk them in the cup.

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

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

“In an ideal world you would think about things like that but obviously we don’t live in an ideal world so we’ll see when the players arrive and are checked.

“Once the players arrive and I can look them in the eye and see who might be ready, I’ll draw up the squad.”

Klopp will likely have to rely on a number of the younger players who impressed at Wembley, with 19-year-old Bobby Clark, son of former Newcastle midfielder Lee, and James McConnell likely to start against Saints.

Although the pair have only started once in cup competitions this season, Klopp has full faith in their ability to step up in the team’s hour of need – although he has urged fans to count on them.

“First of all, it doesn’t have to show anything. Our guys have played in the youth teams and under-21s and only recently came and trained with us: absolutely zero experience but a lot of talent and they showed it,” he added.

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

“All these boys have to do is really enjoy what they’re doing. They have to defend like men or they can’t play.

“I saw them do it (on Sunday) and obviously it helped and gave confidence and there are so many things you can’t buy. It usually takes years to get the kind of experiences they got in a flash.

“It’s possible and a few of them have to start, that’s for sure, and if they do, they’ll do their job and we all have to help them celebrate the right things and not lament the wrong things.”

After winning a record-extending 10th League Cup on Sunday, Liverpool have taken a cautious approach to their end-of-season parade.

It’s not something they would normally do to win this competition, but they are looking to end Klopp’s nine-year reign this summer.

“That’s one part that’s not so cool that it can be seen as that (saying goodbye to him),” he said. “I don’t think it makes sense.

“But apart from that I’m a big fan of showing off the trophies and if there’s a show I’ll be on the bus, no doubt about it.

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