‘I don’t need a break’ – Jurgen Klopp brushes off sabbatical rumours

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted “nobody has to worry about me” as he dismissed suggestions he could take a break or quit his post after a difficult time in both his professional and personal life.

Klopp admitted his side’s Premier League title defence was over after suffering three successive defeats, a run the Reds will look to stop when they resume their Champions League campaign against RB Leipzig in Budapest on Tuesday.

A banner showing support for Klopp, who was unable to attend the funeral of his mother Elisabeth last week due to coronavirus travel restrictions, has been erected outside Anfield, although the German insists it is unnecessary.

As he previewed his side’s last-16 first-leg tie against Leipzig, Klopp said: “The banner is nice, obviously, but not necessary. I don’t feel I need special support. I don’t need a break.

“The last thing I want to do is talk about private things in a press conference but everybody knows we have had a tough time and we always deal with it as a family 100 per cent.

“When I came here to work, I am 53, I have been in football for 30 years, I can split things and switch off, I don’t carry things around. Of course we are influenced by things that happen but nobody has to worry about me.

Klopp confirmed Naby Keita has returned to training having been injured since before Christmas, but the Guinean midfielder will not be ready for the trip to the Hungarian capital to take on his former club.

Keita has been one of a number of first-team players who have been on the sidelines but it is injuries to their backline that has been particularly stark, with Jordan Henderson deployed as a makeshift centre-back recently.

Henderson insists he and his team-mates take full responsibility for their predicament as he defended the methods of Klopp.

Jordan Henderson says Liverpool's players have to take
Jordan Henderson says Liverpool’s players have to take “full responsibility” for their predicament (Laurence Griffiths/PA)

“But as players we take full responsibility. As players it is down to us to change the situation we are in. There are no question marks over the manager and how he reacts after games.

“He actually reacts totally opposite to what people would think and handles situations like that very well. That is why we want to go out there and put in a performance, for the team but him as well.”

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