London: Ahead of Liverpool’s game against Sunderland in the English Premier League (EPL), head coach Jürgen Klopp has outlined his desire for his attackers to be more clinical in goal-scoring situations.
The Reds tried their luck on no fewer than 26 occasions against Leicester City during the Boxing Day clash at Anfield but just five of those efforts were on target — one of which was successfully converted by Christian Benteke to secure the 1-0 win.
Liverpool have netted only three times in five outings since demolishing Southampton 6-1 at St Mary’s Stadium on December 2, but Klopp insists hitting the back of the net more regularly is something high on the agenda during pre-match preparations.
“It’s always like this if you don’t have enough goals — you have to talk and think about how we can bring the other players into position to score goals. We have such quality at headers that we could use this at set plays, but we haven’t often enough,” Klopp told liverpoolfc.com on Monday.
“We have our moments when we are shooting and we have a little bit of bad luck; for example the situations once or twice with Adam (Lallana) where he was a little bit unlucky when he went really close and could have scored a goal (against Leicester).
“But we are working on it. Always when it comes to scoring goals, you have to be in situations more often — you cannot say wait for the one chance and you will score it because it is not like this. You always have to be in the positions.
“That’s what we are trying to do. We know about this (need to score more goals), it’s the truth, and to be more dangerous from more positions is a big target for us.”
Benteke’s match-winning strike against Leicester was his sixth of 2015-16 so far, making him Liverpool’s top scorer for the campaign to date.
The Belgian entered the contest as a first-half substitute for the injured Divock Origi and afterwards revealed he’d held a conversation with Klopp last week about how he can improve his game.
“We spoke about a few things — as he said and as I told you before — and that’s always important. He knows what he has to do, that’s for sure. Like I said after the (Leicester) game, it was not too easy for him to come on — you saw he needed a little bit more of a longer warm-up in the first 10-15 minutes, but the second half was better.
“He is a player with such potential, so always if he doesn’t play perfectly you think, ‘Okay, there’s a little bit, there’s a little bit (where he can improve)’. Of course, he is not the same (type of) striker as Daniel (Sturridge) and Divock (Origi) because of the movements. All of the strikers are different.
“We have to use his natural skills and he has to try to be more involved in the game, that’s all, and then we can make steps together. It’s not possible for a player to come in and play their own style when the team plays differently.
“In the end, a striker has to make goals — everybody knows this — but there are more times in a game when we need him, for defending set plays with his big quality and offensive set plays with his big quality. We are clear and now we can work and play.”