Klopp backs 'fun' Origi to fill Liverpool gaps

AFP , Sunday 18 Oct 2015

Juergen Klopp
Liverpool's new manager Juergen Klopp hides his face with a shirt as he poses for pictures after being appointed the club's new manager on a three-year deal, Liverpool, England, Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. The 48-year-old German has been out of work since May, when he ended a seven-year spell at Borussia Dortmund to take a sabbatical. (AP Photo)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes Divock Origi can ease the club's injury problems in attack after making his first Premier League start in a 0-0 draw at Tottenham Hotspur.

The 20-year-old Belgium striker was the chief novelty in the team named by Klopp for his first game at the Liverpool helm following his appointment as the successor to the sacked Brendan Rodgers.

Origi hit the bar with an early header before fading out of the game, but Klopp says the youngster will get better with experience and revealed that he had tried to sign him from Lille during his time as Borussia Dortmund coach.

"I wanted to take him to Dortmund when Liverpool bought him, but he went to Liverpool and then on loan to Lille," Klopp told reporters at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

"He's a very good player, very fast, good technician. In this moment not full of experience in the game, because he didn't play so often, but we will have fun with this player, I'm sure."

Klopp turned to Origi -- who joined Liverpool in 2014 before returning to Lille on a season-long loan -- after injury deprived him of the services of Daniel Sturridge, Danny Ings and Christian Benteke.

Ings faces a long spell on the sidelines with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament, while Sturridge sustained a minor knee injury in training and Benteke is working his way back to fitness after a hamstring problem.

Klopp expressed hope that Sturridge and Benteke will both be fit for Thursday's Europa League home game with Rubin Kazan and if not, for Sunday's trip to Southampton in the league.

"I need strikers. When I thought about coming to Liverpool, I thought, 'Four strikers, this quality, cool.' Now I have one," said Klopp, whose side remain 10th, three places below Spurs.

"That's not the best situation, but I like Divock and young Jerome Sinclair was on the bench and was close to coming on. I don't think about players I don't have because it doesn't make sense.

"The best situation is when all the players are at 100 percent. It doesn't happen so often."

Pochettino defends Kane

After weathering Liverpool's early onslaught, Spurs took control of the game and visiting goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was obliged to save from substitute Clinton Njie and twice from Harry Kane.

Klopp was pleased to see Liverpool register a first clean sheet in nine matches, but acknowledged that they need to sharpen up at the other end, having struggled to create clear-cut chances.

"Football is a results sport, so we need our results," he said.

"We have to try to improve. We have to work together and do things better that we want to see. That's what we're doing.

"The nil on one side (of the scoreline) is OK, for sure. The nil on the other side doesn't give you the same feeling.

"Of course our target is one day to have the nil on the right side and on the other side, another number."

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino revealed that Belgian winger Nacer Chadli would undergo a scan on Sunday after being forced off by an ankle injury in the 11th minute, which saw Njie enter the fray.

He also defended Kane, who battled manfully against Liverpool's bruising centre-backs Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho but has scored only once in 12 club games this season.

"Harry was good. He had two clear chances to score. We had four chances and two from Harry," said the Argentine, whose side have not lost in the league since a 1-0 defeat at Manchester United on the opening day.

"If you compare with another striker, how many chances did Origi have? Not to criticise another player, but you (the media) expect Harry to score every time he touches the ball.

"But he worked a lot and there was great effort. The goal is coming."

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