Reds can cope without Anfield crowd, says boss

Sports | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 21 May 2020

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes his runaway leaders will cope without the "best kick in your ass" of their Anfield crowd should the Premier League season resume.

English top-flight players have began training again this week after a league meeting on Monday gave the go-ahead to the first stage of the return-to-play protocols.

If matches do eventually take place again this season, they will be behind closed doors and possibly at neutral venues.

Liverpool - 25 points clear at the top of the table when the coronavirus saw the season suspended in March - need just two more wins to claim a first English title in 30 years.

And German boss Klopp, having watched his native Bundesliga resume last weekend without spectators at matches, is confident his players can motivate themselves without a crowd.

"The competition will make the intensity," he said. "We have to do it, unfortunately, without the best boost in the world and the best kick in your ass in the right moment in the world, from the Anfield crowd. But that's how it is."

Klopp admitted that a "perfect matchday" is having a packed Anfield witness "super goals" and a Liverpool win against a really good team.

"Anfield will not be packed for a while ...We love that but we cannot have it," he said.

Klopp pointed to the Bundesliga last weekend as an example of how matches can be physical and intense "without anybody shouting at you that you have to run. Just because you want it, because you do it for your teammates."

"That's exactly what we have to do as well."

Despite the unscheduled break caused by the pandemic, Klopp said his players were in good physical shape but they need to get used to being back on the pitch again.

"From an endurance point of view, they could run a marathon probably. But the moment you start playing football, you can see how different it is."

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