Jurgen Klopp speaks about Liverpool's set-piece weakness; Clyne a doubt as Reds aim for final

Klopp Scouse Lesson

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp addressed the media ahead of his side's League Cup semi-final second leg against Stoke City at Anfield tomorrow night.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said the side continue to work on their weaknesses as they were caught out on set-pieces again during Saturday's 5-4 win over Norwich City at Carrow Road.

Speaking at his press conference ahead of tomorrow night's League Cup clash with Stoke City, as reported by the Liverpool Echo, Klopp said: "We had a good talk, intensive. Not the first one, but hopefully the last one.

"Its not about the formation, it’s not always about the quality of the set plays. It’s about what we are doing in the situations.

"In Norwich, we defended the first ball well but struggled then with the second or third. That’s a normal reaction that you would speak about.

"The goal of Mbokani, there was still a full box so we could have pushed up earlier and left them offside. That would have been a clever idea. It’s not too late to learn. But now it’s time to."

The Reds hold a slender one-goal lead thanks to Jordon Ibe's strike from the first leg at the Britannia Stadium, as the Reds look to reach the League Cup final for the first time since 2012 when they lifted the trophy for an eighth time. 

Klopp admits looking forward to the occasion of his side playing at Anfield on a semi-final night, and is looking for a better defensive performance against the Potters.

"I heard about the special atmosphere at Anfield, and I am really excited, looking forward to it," he said. "Let’s take the power of LFC and go to the final! You can prepare as much as possible. That’s what we’re doing, not thinking about the result.

"In this moment, we only want to defend perfectly. Stoke is a footballing team. Mark Hughes is doing a brilliant job, changing the style - one of the biggest changes in style in 10 years I think.

"We have our problems, and they have one or two as well. You have to be ready."

Klopp said it is likely that Kolo Toure and Mamadou Sakho will line up at the heart of the defence again - despite Dejan Lovren returning to training following a hamstring injury he picked up in the first leg - but right-back Nathaniel Clyne is an injury doubt having had a knock to his knee in the win at Norwich.

However, Jon Flangan, who made his first appearance for the Reds in 20 months in the 3-0 win over Exeter City in the FA Cup replay last week is fit enough to deputise if Clyne is unavailable for the game, even if he may be lacking a bit of match fitness.

"We love Flanno, but he’s been out a long time," Klopp added. "Maybe 90 minutes or more would not be the best, but if we have to try it we will, he is ready. Of course it would be better if Clyney was fit tomorrow."

Although some may have thought of the League Cup as unimportant down the years, Klopp is not taking that approach and is urging his side to grasp the chance of making it to the final and having some silverware to show for their efforts this season.

"Tomorrow is only one target - go to the final," he said. "Then celebrate in your mind, because we have the next game on Saturday!

"It’s football, and you should not waste opportunities to win something. For the players it is really important, this game. They want to go the final. Hopefully, I can come with them."

As far as transfers go, Klopp yet again said there was nothing to add on Liverpool's ongoing pursuit of Shakhtar Donetesk's Alex Texeira.  

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