News ID: 264162
Published: 0325 GMT January 10, 2020

Klopp wary of 'world-class' Mourinho ahead of Tottenham encounter

Klopp wary of 'world-class' Mourinho ahead of Tottenham encounter
OLI SCARFF/AFP

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes Jose Mourinho remains a world class coach and a threat to his side's unbeaten Premier League record when the European champion takes on Tottenham today.

A massive 28-point gap separates the sides that contested the Champions League final just seven months ago with Liverpool running away with the title, while sixth-placed Spurs' ambition is just to make it back into the top four, according to AFP.

Mourinho's honeymoon period in north London is over after a run of just two wins in Tottenham's last seven games, but he has consistently been a thorn in Liverpool's side with Chelsea and Manchester United in the past.

"Jose Mourinho is a world-class manager with a specific mindset. I would say he wants to win with all he has. I respect that a lot," said Klopp.

"That means each situation his team is in, he tries to use for his team."

Klopp picked up his fourth Premier League manager of the month prize of the season on Friday as reward for navigating a grueling December schedule across four different competitions without dropping a point.

Liverpool is 13 points clear with a game in hand over closest challengers Leicester and Manchester City as it seems destined to end a 30-year wait to win the league.

However, Trent Alexander-Arnold, who picked up the player of the month award, insists they cannot afford to get overexcited.

"We know we can't get too excited and we know that nothing has been won yet. If we want to be a successful team then we have to keep going until the end," said the England international.

"Obviously we are in a good position, which is something that we can't ignore. We're playing well, we're on a good run of form but we can't take that for granted because there are shock results week in, week out in the Premier League.

"If we get our mentality and the game-plan right then we know that with the quality that we've got then we're confident going into games. But we can't be overly-confident and arrogant. We need to know our quality and make sure we produce it."

Klopp confirmed that James Milner and Naby Keita will miss the trip to Tottenham due to muscle injuries.

Fabinho and Dejan Lovren are also not ready to return, but could be fit for the visit of Manchester United next weekend.

 

Kane catastrophe

 

Ahead of today’s match against Liverpool, Mourinho said he would get "depressed" if he wallowed in the news that Harry Kane is to be missing for at least three months.

The Spurs striker has undergone surgery on a torn hamstring that will see him miss the majority of the remainder of the season at club level and in a race to be match fit to lead England at Euro 2020.

"If I speak too much about Harry, I get a bit depressed and then you are going to say he is miserable and in a bad mood," said Mourinho.

"Harry is irreplaceable. You know that we cannot play like we normally play when Harry Kane is in the team. We cannot do it the same way as we do with Harry."

Mourinho’s side has been linked with a move for AC Milan's Polish striker Krzysztof Piatek as cover for Kane's absence with Tottenham needing to chase down a six-point gap to Chelsea to qualify for the Champions League next season.

However, Mourinho said he is willing to wait until the summer to add to his squad.

"If the boss arrives with the solution for these difficult months then so be it," added the Portuguese.

"But if we don’t find the right opportunity or the right solution we are going to wait until summer to make decision for the evolution of the team."

Kane is just one of a host of absences Mourinho must contend with for the visit of the European champion, which is looking for a record 20th win from its opening 21 games to the league season.

Moussa Sissoko is also absent until April, while Hugo Lloris, Ben Davies, Danny Rose and Tanguy Ndombele remain out.

 

Club captain Lloris has at least returned to training after three months out with a dislocated elbow suffered in a disappointing 3-0 defeat at Brighton in October.

The French number one has yet to feature under Mourinho, but he is looking forward to being able to call on Lloris's experience after a difficult spell for Paulo Gazzaniga in goal.

"Lloris has not played a game for me. Ben has played one and did very, very well. It's good news. By the end of the month we will have two new players," Mourinho added.

"We have a goalkeeper that is doing his best and we have confidence in him but for Hugo to be back after such an important injury is good for him."

 

   
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Resource: AFP
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