Jurgen Klopp: What Liverpool must prove after Philippe Coutinho injury
The Liverpool boss discusses how the Reds will cope without Philippe Coutinho
Jurgen Klopp his Liverpool squad can’t use Philippe Coutinho’s injury as an excuse for allowing their current performance level to slide.
The Brazil international suffered an ankle injury in the first half of Liverpool’s 2-0 victory over Premier League strugglers Sunderland at Anfield on Saturday afternoon.
Coutinho has proven a key figure behind Liverpool’s Premier League title push has scored five times and has made five assists in 13 Premier League appearances.
The Merseyside outfit are in second place in the table and a point adrift of current leaders Chelsea after the Blues were 2-1 winners against Tottenham Hotspur.
The 18-time English champions haven’t lost a game since a 2-0 defeat by Burnley in their second Premier League game of the 2016-17 campaign at Turf Moor.
Liverpool boss Klopp is confident that the Reds squad can cope without their Brazilian playmaker.
“Phil Coutinho is a really good football player. So if we cannot use him for the next few days or weeks, each team in the world would feel it, that’s how it is,” Klopp told his pre-match media conference on Monday afternoon ahead of the visit of Leeds in the League Cup.
“But of course I can say now there is no excuse for anything. As good as he is, he cannot decide games by himself, even when it looks sometimes like this because he takes the ball, dribbles and shoots.
“But then it’s only a goal or whatever, then everybody has to defend so it’s really a team performance that we create.
“He is a very important part of this team, absolutely, but of course we can deal with it. It’s not the best thing I can imagine, that I dreamt about it and thought it was a good idea that we can show we can play without Phil.”
Liverpool signed Coutinho in an £8.5m deal from Serie A outfit Inter Milan.
The Reds haven’t won the Premier League title but finished in second place in 2009 and 2014.