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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp speaks out after Jamie Carragher voices Roberto Firmino concerns

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Liverpool star Roberto Firmino has scored just five goals in all competitions this term (Picture: Getty)

Jurgen Klopp has jumped to Roberto Firmino’s defence after Jamie Carragher admitted he was ‘worried’ about the forward and insists Liverpool’s lack of goals is not solely down to the Brazilian’s level of performance.

Firmino has been at the heart of Liverpool’s success under Klopp but the 29-year-old has netted just five times in all competitions and has long been accused of failing to pull his weight in the goals department.



Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane have also struggled to replicate their form of recent years across what has been a disappointing winter period, with the Premier League champions sitting four points off top spot in fourth place.



Carragher voiced his concerns about Firmino after Liverpool’s draw with Manchester United (Picture: Getty)

Speaking after Liverpool’s stalemate with Manchester United, Carragher claimed the Reds’ front three would need to be split ‘sooner or later’ and suggested Firmino’s ability to link play had diminished.



‘When we talk about this Liverpool team, we talk about the front three. It’s almost like they come as a package,’ the ex-Liverpool and England defender said on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.

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‘The reason I say that Liverpool’s front three is unique is not that they are better than other front threes, it’s how long they’ve stayed together.

‘They are all getting to their late 20s and sooner or later that front three will have to be broken up.

‘You can’t, in two years’ time, say “we’re going to buy a new front three” and replace them all. It will change over time.

‘I am still confident Mane and Salah will start scoring goals again. I must say I am worried for Firmino.

‘He has never been seen as ‘the’ goalscorer. That is the responsibility of the other two, but he is there to chip in.

‘When they are not scoring, he has to be a bigger goal threat.

‘Yesterday (during the 0-0 draw with Manchester United) he had a couple of chances but did not quite strike the ball right.’

Klopp’s side sit fourth in the table ahead of their clash with Burnley (Picture: Getty)

The Merseyside giants have an opportunity to get their title bid back on track when they play host to 17th-placed Burnley at Anfield tomorrow night.

At his pre-match press conference,, Klopp conceded Liverpool were ‘not exactly’ where they wanted to be at the halfway stage of the campaign but refused to point the finger of blame at Firmino.

Asked how Firmino can return to his best, the German replied: ‘By training, that’s how it is.

‘Of course, we didn’t score a lot of goals in the last few games. That doesn’t mean Roberto’s performance dropped or whatever.

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‘The counter-press stats, if it’s like this, if they drop for 15 per cent… in this game it was not case because a player was not there. We did a lot of great counter-pressing situations in this specific game.

‘In other games, before we can counter-press, they play a long ball. That’s how it is so it’s not always about your own approach, it’s about the approach of the opponent as well.

Klopp insists he still has full confidence in Firmino’s ability (Picture: Getty)

‘But we know we are not exactly where we want to be. There are some reasons for that but they are not too important. It’s about how we fight it and that’s what we have to do.

‘For that, in this moment, you realise the perception from the outside goes really quick and people get very unhappy with the performances when the result is not there.

‘You can win a game with one lucky strike and people here and journalists as well are really happy and say “unbelievable defending” and stuff like this. But we have to play football and we have to play our football and that’s what we do.

‘We have to constantly try to do it at the highest level and really often the boys did it and in the last few games, in the final third, we didn’t do it exactly like that.

Firmino will be looking to silence a few doubters when Liverpool face Burnley (Picture: Getty)

‘There were situations, there could have been the best chance of the game but because of one decision which we would have done maybe a little bit earlier in the season and for sure last season, the decision we would have made differently, and we didn’t score.

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‘So that’s it, that’s all. And to change the small details is not easier than changing the big details. It’s just a job to do and that’s what we are working on. I cannot say it differently, I’m sorry.’

On suggestions his front three are struggling with fatigue, Klopp responded: ‘Nobody is tired, nobody is fatigued so it plays absolutely no role.

‘We are as fresh as possible.’

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Klopp revealed Joel Matip could play a part versus Burnley but confirmed Diogo Jota was still several weeks away from his return.

‘Joel is in full training. We have to make a decision we will see how that will be until tomorrow. Yesterday he trained completely normal,’ the Liverpool manager added.

‘And Diogo is still a few weeks away. I don’t know exactly how long but it will not be in the next one or two weeks. He needs time and the injury needs time.

‘How much I miss a player is not important because when a player is not there, I’m not allowed to miss him. We never think like that, it’s just “he’s not there” and that’s why we have to deal with the situation.

‘That’s what we did but we’re all happy in the hopefully near future when he will be back again.’

MORE : Xherdan Shaqiri, Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi ‘not good enough’ for Liverpool, says Gary Neville

MORE : Former Liverpool and Chelsea star Fernando Torres shows off astonishing new physique

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