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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Jürgen Klopp's pre-match press conference | Manchester United

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Jürgen, it seems like forever since we've spoken, so let's start with...

It is.

Let's start with the team news then. Alisson, Joel Matip, Mo Salah,

all previously doubts, how are they looking?

Better!

But how good, we have to see - that's the truth.

Yeah, two more days to come, or two more sessions to come,

this afternoon, and we have to make decisions, that's how it is.

But nothing fixed yet.

In terms of history and passion there's very few - if any - to rival this fixture,

in English footballing history,

and yet Liverpool's record at Old Trafford in the Premier League era

isn't that great. You haven't won there with Liverpool yet.

So how confident are you that your team and your squad are now in a position

where you can start to change that?

I never really struggled with confidence, to be honest. I dont know for which reason!

But Im not sure, I never am before a game - thats how it is.

Im quite optimistic that we have a chance,

thats pretty much what we have before every other game as well.

History in this case is not really important, but it gives you for sure a little sign

because we like to create and use atmosphere in our stadium, in Anfield,

which is incredibly helpful,

but Old Trafford is not too bad as well in that department

so Im sure they are all on their toes, they are ready, they wait for us.

They said that we are the perfect opponent.

These are all things you can see like this, of course, but you dont have to see.

I dont think there are a lot of teams who would love to play us in the moment,

it looks like Man United is the only one who wants to play us,

and we have to make sure thats a misunderstanding.

Its just normal, I would do exactly the same if the situation

would be the other way around.

"This is the game we can change the world."

Thats how I would prepare it, so why shouldnt Ole do that?

I can see that, but this history, our stats, I have absolutely nothing to do with that.

When we build it up as the biggest rivalry in English football, Jürgen,

how much do you enjoy these kinds of occasions?

A lot.

A lot.

The salt in the soup, huh?

No, it's really great, it's great.

I think we spoke about similar things in the press conference a couple of times,

you would love to prepare a game like this with a full week, or two weeks or whatever,

but we had an international break and it's the same situation for both teams.

The players all came back from international duty healthy, which is very important,

and so we now have three or four days with the full squad to prepare it,

which is a little bit comfortable at least, we don't have only two days.

So, no, I love it, but the talk, even in the press conference, is so loud,

so for you it's obviously very exciting as well.

All the things around it, all the stats, the old stats, whatever,

at the end we have to play football, and we will fight, 100 per cent.

But we have to play football as well, and hopefully we can do that.

That's all I'm concerned about, what I want to see,

and this kind of mix between an outstanding attitude and really brave football,

that's what we have to try. But with all the things you wrote or said between them

in the last few weeks, that doesn't have any influence on this game,

it just makes them more desperate to change the situation

and they will try to, 100 per cent,

but we will try to improve our situation, and so we will see who wants it more.

Expectation outside of both clubs is that Liverpool should win

and it should be relatively straightforward given the position Manchester United are in,

when does that expectation outside the club, how do you deal with that internally...

Ignoring.

Are you more on your guard, for instance?

Ignoring. This game is so easy -

not the game against United but the game everyone else around it plays.

I said it to you on Sky when you made a combined line-up,

and you had 11 Liverpool players in,

that's like a joke, it's like...

..building a banana skin, that's what everybody wants to see.

The world in the moment is a circus, we are in the centre,

a couple of people want us to win, a couple of people want us to lose,

it can have an influence on you or not.

I'm not influenced by it, to be honest,

I'm 100 per cent aware of Manchester United's strength,

I expect their best possible line-up.

Four days ago, I think Ole saidno chancefor De Gea or Pogba, today its amaybe’,

tomorrow its100 per cent’. Martial will be back, all that stuff.

Thats how these games are played, no problem with that.

But Im old enough and we are experienced enough

to judge all the things in the right way.

We have to be very, very lively, we have to be emotional...

..as much as allowed,

we have to be fluent, we have to be very clear in a lot of moments,

and we have to respect their strength - and thats what we do.

This is a really good football team in a situation which they dont like,

so they want to change it.

We have to make sure that, if they want to change it,

they have to start that a week later.

Jürgen, from your experience, just how intense is it to go to Old Trafford?

Premier League games, all of them are really intense.

So it's like the build-up is always pretty similar,

it depends a little bit on the kick-off time,

sometimes you have more time when you play at night,

and less time when you play at 12,

but that's all, it's always this build-up and the intensity grows and grows, and then...

First whistle, go for it. The things around,

I wouldn't have realised the difference to other games

if there wasn't like 500 people in the room, so for me it's the same preparation,

with the specific things we have to prepare, which they do,

so whatever they do we have to be prepared for that, and that's what we try.

But the other things are not different,

the fuss is around us, we are not much involved.

We know, we feel it, but that's the positive part of excitement,

we are really looking forward to playing that game,

and if somebody tells me we never won there since I've been here or whatever -

I wouldn't have known because I don't think about these things -

but then let's try it at least for the first time.

If we cannot win, then let's perform in the best possible way,

and if they beat us then - congratulations.

That's how it is, we are not nervous because of the 'winning streak'

and the history we could make, we don't think about it,

we're pretty relaxed and very, very ambitious as well.

> Jürgen...

< Sorry, you caught me out there.

LAUGHTER

> No, just the way you looked over.

If you look at the way Man United have started this season,

I think everybody's expecting an improvement sooner rather than later,

and one of their summer signings, Daniel James, has already made an impact.

Given his speed and directness, and the expansive way your full-backs play,

he could be a problematic player for you.

Oh, as I said...

Oh, Daniel is a really good player, absolutely.

But as I said, I expect all the speed they have.

I expect Martial back - and Rashford and James on the pitch.

They all have real speed and they all have real quality.

If Martial cant play, you know exactly the same about Rashford and James,

for example, and they will build around.

Its not my job to talk about it but its not easy for Ole to talk about it -

they had a lot of injuries.

And people always think somebody is the reason for it with injuries,

but it's not like this, they had these injuries coincidentally,

the number of them and really decisive players for them.

And nobody can play the same kind of football

when five or six of your first line-up players are out, thats just not [possible].

You cannot play the same football; you can maybe get the same results

if the mood is different, but you cannot play the same football.

Thats what was difficult for them. That will change.

Then, unfortunately, other teams will probably have injuries and they have to deal with that,

thats how a season is. You have to come through these periods, they came through.

I dont follow it but it looks like they could prepare in the right way.

There's still a lot of discussions around but I don't think there are many inside,

so they could focus on training and preparing the game,

and thats what we have to face, not how other people judge their start or whatever.

They had good signs, good moments, all that stuff,

they lost in the last minute or something like that,

missed a penalty - thats unlucky, nothing else.

You need momentum in a game and in a season as well.

So far they probably didnt have it but that doesnt mean they will never get it back.

We respect them as the best United we could face,

and not the Man United you all speak about during the week.

If you look at the last couple of league games,

the late winner against Leicester and Sheffield United similarly,

maybe you haven't been at your free-flowing best in terms of creating chances.

How useful is that as a reference point for the rest of the season,

that you've had to dig really deep and the belief has still been there,

you've got the late goals?

Yeah, it sounds like from now on we will always score late goals if needed,

it's not like this; we did it, it's not now a given for the rest of our lives.

You have to work for that.

I really liked the Leicester game and I didn't understand

when people said afterwards that we didn't deserve to win.

We were lucky with the moment when we got the penalty, that's true,

but the game was 100 per cent a Liverpool game,

we had more chances than Leicester had conceded until then in any other game.

So if we could have scored we could have finished that off,

Leicester had nothing to do with that game

until we were a bit tired after playing in the week,

a very intense game against Salzburg, which Leicester didn't have.

They have a lot of quality but we played really well and deserved to win.

It was not that it was lucky - "Wow, how could they win that game?"

So the boys were in really good shape before the international break.

Can we play better? Yes, of course, but first and foremost play as well as you can

in the moment, and that's always influenced by different things.

It's the opponent, your own situation, the last game, the next game, whatever.

But you have to play as well as you can and we did that day.

Creating chances, not using them but really being in the right areas and all that.

So I liked that game a lot, especially the start.

But that's over now, we don't rely on winning a game without performing,

because I really think the boys performed so far.

We had a similar discussion last year when we started playing a slightly different...

What is it, free-flowing, offensive, scoring five or six goals

and everybody then told me, "Where has that gone?"

And then we played one of the best seasons, or the best season in my career.

It's just building on things and making the next step,

but you cannot make these steps in the summer, in pre-season when nobody's there.

You just can't do it. I cannot call the boys and say, "By the way, today we worked on that,

"think a little bit about it then you will be better as well." It doesn't work like that.

So we have to do it in the season and we are at the moment.

We are not perfect, but we are working on getting better,

and it worked out so far, but now the next challenge,

a really good opponent in a difficult situation,

so that's the next challenge for us and we have to make sure we're ready for that.

You spoke earlier about Solksjaer playing games with who is or isn't injured...

I didn't say he plays games. Maybe they improved overnight.

I'm just wondering, from a manager's point of view,

is there any advantage in those mind games before a game?

Is there any occasion where you think it actually helped?

No, the less the opposing manager knows about your line-up, the better it is.

That's an advantage.

I'm four years in England and it's still really strange for me

how much less you know about if a player is fit or not.

In Germany we have...

We allow the press to watch training four or five times a week,

so if a guy is not in training...

That would mean you have to really work, imagine!

Getting up every morning, going into training, it's bad weather and stuff as well,

so it means you cannot hide anything,

it's not that you can say, "Maybe he can play", but he can't.

"He can play, but he didn't train five days in a row" - that doesn't work.

Here it's always like, "Oh, interesting", when you see the line-up.

"I thought he had a broken leg or whatever."

So, yes, it's not a mind game it's just part of the preparation.

Can I ask, on Trent, obviously his development,

we've seen him over the years, you must have seen something in him,

you threw him in at Old Trafford for his first start - what did you see in him?

The things he is showing now.

I saw that...

That it is possible for him to be a proper Premier League player.

I saw signs of that, and now he worked really hard on it,

so he can show that.

And by the way, being in the, what is it, The Guinness Book of Records? Unbelievable.

As a footballer I don't know how that's possible,

but we played that game for a while already,

and he prepared the most goals ever, in the history of football, as a defender.

That's just incredible. Another incredible achievement, really cool.

But, OK, I didn't see that that day when I lined him up,

but I was full of trust and faith.

I remember the walk we had when I told him he'd play,

he didn't look too surprised, to be honest.

Not that he expected it, but he was not too nervous.

I don't remember the game really, but it was the first step for him

and a very important step for us as well.

Jürgen, after 29 games in the Premier League

you had more or less the same record as Ole has now,

he actually has two points more, but there's a lot of talk around his position,

do you feel like he deserves more time, respect, patience?

What do you think about his position?

To be 100 per cent honest, I have no clue about his position.

Because it's not important what you are writing,

it's more important what the board is telling him,

what Ed Woodward is telling him, what the Glazer family is telling him.

I have no clue. I don't have an opinion about that.

I want every manager in the world

to have as much time as possible to bring through his ideas,

but you cant compare situations to when I came in and he did.

Man United is a massive club and nobody is really ready to wait for success.

In my case it wasn't different. If you would have asked after those first 29 games

all the people in the room who are here more often than you come from Norway,

I don't think there was a 100 per cent agreement

that I'm the perfect manager for Liverpool.

So that's how the situation is, we have to live with that, he has to live with that,

if there's any doubt internally it would be bad.

As long as it's only externally, that's not important really.

But you had similar situations as Solskjaer at the beginning in Liverpool,

do you have any advice for him?

You really think you can fly over from Norway and ask me that question?

Wow.

No, he doesn't need it, he doesn't need it.

Come on, he's been at that club for 10-15 years altogether,

he knows everything there, he made his experience as a manager in football,

I know people think sometimes that a manager has to manage Real Madrid

before he can take over Barcelona or whatever,

so you know how it works on that level,

but that's not the truth of course.

He knows what he has to do.

It just has to work out, that's how it is for all of us,

that's why so many managers get the sack at one point,

if some people lose patience internally then we need to go.

But you never can compare these situations

and I don't think they are too famous to make quick, nervous decisions

on that position, they didn't have to in the last 20 years,

and now they had to change it two or three times.

That's how it is, but from my point of view it looks like he's settled there,

they all knew it would be a difficult job to do,

because nobody loses against you because you are Liverpool or Man United,

it's about the things you do on the pitch.

But on the other side they are all on their toes and really motivated

when you go there and have a big name, so that's part of the big challenge we all face.

Yeah, but I don't think you have to worry about Ole, he's in a good position

and has the chance to win a game at the weekend,

and we want to make sure that will not happen - that's it.

Hi, Jürgen, it's been a long time since

there's been such a big gap between United and Liverpool in league positions,

but people also say form goes out of the window in these particular clashes.

In your opinion, how much is there to that saying?

It's a little bit like that, because of the build-up and all that it's just...

like a big pressure game and everybody tries

to make sure nobody doubts them attitude-wise.

But thank God, the times when pretty much any challenge was allowed

in a game like this are over, because that was really dangerous in a lot of moments,

when I watched these games 10-15 years ago.

Nowaday pundits kicked each other off the ground,

so that was strange, but that's why I said -

we have to fight for each yard and we have to play football.

That's the mix we have to find, and in the moment, two days before the game,

I think we have a good chance to find that balance, but we have to show that on Sunday.

The Description of Jürgen Klopp's pre-match press conference | Manchester United