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Klopp getting used to playing behind-closed-doors and new protocols following Blackburn win

Jurgen Klopp admits he is getting used to playing behind-closed-doors and football’s new protocols after watching his Liverpool side beat Blackburn 6-0 in a friendly at Anfield.

The Premier League leaders stepped up their preparations for the division’s restart with a comprehensive victory over their Championship opposition, with Sadio Mane, Naby Keita and Takumi Minamino amongst the first-half goals for the Reds.

Joel Matip and youngsters Ki-Jana Hoever and Leighton Clarkson completed the scoring, and Klopp gave his assessment of his side’s performance amid the unusual atmosphere that will soon become the norm as the Premier League returns later this month.

“Yes, it’s different, of course. You need to get used to it, but I like it,” Klopp told Liverpool’s official website. “After three times, it is completely OK. I thought before – and I don’t have experience in this area – that it would be really awkward, but we have to create our own atmosphere in the games.

“We have to be lively as well, we have to be animated and stuff like this. Being positive about the things that have happened and so on, that’s how you can create an atmosphere – and it’s what we have to do as well. Apart from that, it is Anfield.

“We don’t have to discuss it all the time, that it is completely different stuff without supporters. Football would not be the game [it is] if there were not supporters; we only love it because of the atmosphere and all that stuff – but this is now our situation, so we have to take that, we have to use that and that’s what we try.”

Klopp also spoke on the new protocols that have been implemented ahead of football’s restart, including players maintaining social distancing in dressing rooms, warm-ups and during goal celebrations.

“Yes, everything is different,” the Liverpool boss added. “The boys now go home and they didn’t have a shower. It was raining before the game, so that would have been funny if there had been really hard rain and then you drive home in your own car and you didn’t have a shower.

“Our meeting was here in the boardroom. We want to have it like this [and] we can organise it differently at Anfield when we play here, but we have no clue how it’ll be at away games and we need to create as awkward-as-possible situations just to not be surprised.

“We want to focus completely on football and whatever happens around the games, we just take it like it is. Can we shower? Yes, good. If not, no, let’s drive home and do it there – all these kind of things – and that’s why we want to get used to it, but it’s all good so far.

“How I’ve said, I could not be more thankful for the organisation work at Melwood and now here. It is a really great job that everyone has done and so I am happy. We have around eight or nine days to go, good. We will need that and then we should be ready.”

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