Jürgen Klopp says Liverpool will be mentally and physically ready for the resumption of the Premier League season and football will remain a “wonderful game” even when played at empty stadiums.
Liverpool are, at most, only two wins from claiming their first league title for 30 years and could return to training in small groups on Tuesday providing the Project Restart plan is approved on Monday. The first stage would see players tested for Covid-19 twice a week.
Several Premier League players, however, have voiced concerns over protocols for the next, higher-risk phase of training, and Project Restart rests on gaining their consent.
Those concerns are just one complication in the Premier League’s aim to restart on 12 or 19 June, with clubs wanting two weeks of contact training before returning to competitive action. Liverpool reopened Melwood for individual training on 7 May and, despite the uncertainty over the return date, Klopp has no doubts over his players’ preparation.
Asked on BBC’s Football Focus whether his players will be ready to start, the Liverpool manager said: “Yes. Look, football is a game where pretty much we have the same situation. We play against another team.
“We don’t have to be at our all-time best, we have to be at our best possible and that is exactly the same situation for the other teams. Whenever we will start we will have the same time for preparation and our job, as always, is to use the situation you are in. We will be in as good a shape as possible and that is what we have to use then.”
Liverpool will secure their coveted 19th championship in an empty stadium once the Premier League resumes but Klopp is philosophical about the prospect of playing without a crowd. “We all started playing football without supporters and we loved this game not because of the atmosphere in a stadium,” he added.
“Meanwhile, we are used to it and we know that’s the real football but now, if we can not play like this for a few months, hopefully only [a few months], that doesn’t mean the game is not still a wonderful game. I really hope that it works out in Germany and we can then start at some point in England as well.”