Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has spoken about the return to training and upcoming return of Premier League football.
Reds fans will have been particularly keen for the season to get going again as their club sits 25 points clear at the top of the table – just two wins away from clinching their first title in 30 years.
Klopp admits he and his players were delighted to learn training could start up again, though he also couldn’t hide his concern about missing the vital support of the Anfield crowd.
Games will likely be played behind closed doors for some time amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has eased somewhat during several weeks of lockdown, but which could undoubtedly rise again if people mix in large crowds.
This is a blow for Liverpool, however, who have so often responded well to their vocal home support, which can also be very intimidating for visiting teams.
Speaking about the return, as quoted by the Daily Star, Klopp said: “We have to do it, unfortunately, without the best boost in the world … from the Anfield crowd. But that’s how it is. It’s 100 per cent (that) the perfect package of football is a full, packed Anfield stadium, two really good teams, big fight, super goals and at the end Liverpool win. That’s the perfect matchday.
“So, a lot of these things are possible but Anfield will not be packed for a while. So that’s what we have to accept, that’s the only thing.
“The ‘wheeler dealer’ tag that gets trotted out about Harry is a load of nonsense. Harry understands people and he understands football and the biggest compliment I could give him is that he could manage Real Madrid, England or Dagenham and be successful in all three jobs.” Who said this about Harry Redknapp? Click here to read more.
“I know, football behind closed doors, of course it’s not the same. We all love it when we have contact, when we get cheered up by the people, when they push us through the yards and all that stuff.
“We love that but we cannot have it. And it looks like it will be possible – and it is in Germany already possible – to play behind closed doors.”
On the news of returning to training, he said: “I was over the moon, I would say. I couldn’t wait for a while now, so I am really happy that we are able to do this again – going back to Melwood, having small group training and stuff like this.
“It will be good fun for the boys, they can’t wait as well. The reaction in the (players’) group was exceptional in the moment when it was clear.
“That football is closer to coming back I think is really a good sign for people as well. I always said we don’t want to rush anything, but I don’t think it is rushed.”