Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists there is ‘no time to rest’ as the Premier League leaders prepare for their congested festive fixture schedule.
Wednesday night’s 5-2 Merseyside derby thrashing of struggling Everton maintained Liverpool‘s eight-point advantage at the top of the Premier League, though the club’s resources will be tested to their limits as they prepare to play another eight fixtures in four different competitions before the new year.
Klopp opted to rotate his squad for the midweek derby win, naming the likes of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Jordan Henderson amongst the substitutes, and the Liverpool boss has now issued a rallying cry to his entire squad as they prepare for their hectic run of fixtures starting with this weekend’s trip to Bournemouth.
Asked if his players become frustrated when thet are rested, Klopp called for a ‘smart squad’
“In this moment you need a smart squad, people with half a brain at least,” the German said at his pre-match press conference.
“I cannot explain things properly all the time, they have to understand it without me telling them. Thank God we have that.
“Shaq [Xherdan Shaqiri] was injured twice and it takes time to come back.
“During that situation the team are winning pretty much all the games and if he doesn’t get frustrated that he isn’t playing then that’s not smart. That is how it is in football.
“I don’t expect perfection from the moment you come on the pitch but I expect the desire to show you are good enough and Shaq did that.
“I don’t make decisions out of the blue, there are always reasons and the boys understand them.
“There is no time for rest and to think about the situation, but we have to try.”
Klopp conceded that rotation will be key over the coming weeks, admitting maintaining his squad’s fitness and freshness will be paramount ahead of a challenging run of games.
“It is a time where you have to make changes, that is clear.
“When you are a football supporter you have your ‘best 11’ and you want them to play all the time but it is not FIFA or Playstation.
“We have to do these kind of changes. If we have the opportunity, we will do it.”