Jurgen Klopp warns Liverpool’s rivals that Mo Salah’s desire to win ‘will be bigger now than ever’ after his World Cup heartbreak against Senegal and team-mate Sadio Mane… and says the lasers aimed at the Egyptian star in Dakar were ‘not cool’
- Jurgen Klopp says Mohamed Salah’s desire to win will be ‘bigger now than ever’
- Liverpool’s star forward missed out on a place at the World Cup earlier this week
- Egypt were beaten on penalties by Sadio Mane and Senegal in their playoff
- But Klopp backed his talisman to hit top form again and fire Liverpool to trophies
- The German also warned his side not to underestimate Watford on Saturday
Jurgen Klopp is confident Mohamed Salah will channel his World Cup heartbreak in the best way as Liverpool head into a season-defining period.
Salah, who is favourite to be crowned PFA Player of the Year, missed the crucial penalty in a shootout between Egypt and Senegal on Tuesday, costing his side a trip to Qatar and sending Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane through to the finals.
There was controversy, too, in Dakar as Salah had green lasers shone in his eyes by fans before taking the kick.
Jurgen Klopp says Mo Salah’s desire will be ‘bigger now than ever’ after his World Cup misery
Salah missed out on a place in Qatar after Sadio Mane and Senegal knocked them out in Dakar
Salah, however, is not the type to dwell on disappointment and he was back in training at Liverpool’s AXA base on Wednesday. Team-mates reported his demeanour to be upbeat — something which Klopp confirmed.
Salah and his Egypt team-mates had lasers shone in their faces against Senegal
All is not lost for Salah and today’s lunchtime kick-off against Watford is the start of a frantic period in which Liverpool’s quest to win the quadruple will take shape, with games against Benfica and Manchester City over the next fortnight.
‘I’m really happy for Sadio and I feel for Mo,’ said Klopp. ‘I don’t think the situation with lasers in the shootout was cool.
‘It’s different when two mates are in such a big game against each other, but they are top professionals. They are emotional, but they will deal with it in the right way.
‘Senegal are the best team in Africa and Egypt took them to the wire. That is as close as you can get.
‘I am not sure they will see it like this but they cannot get closer.’
Klopp added of his top goalscorer and talisman: ‘Mo wants to win again. His desire will be bigger now than ever.
The Egyptian star had to be escorted off the pitch by security guards in Senegal on Tuesday
‘He is a very smart person. He knows Senegal are a really tough team. They have a good generation but he is fine.’
Liverpool can go top of the league if they win today at home to Watford — a side against whom Salah has an outstanding record — and they may be able to call on Trent Alexander-Arnold, who is making a quick recovery from a hamstring injury.
‘Trent trained on Thursday in parts and we will see what we do with it,’ said Klopp. ‘Trent wanted to go to the national team but he couldn’t. If you could see the scans, you cannot go anywhere.
Klopp insists Salah will not be affected by the failure to qualify for this year’s Qatar tournament
‘But sometimes injuries, thank God, are not that serious that you are out for five or six weeks and it is two to three weeks.
‘It is tight for Watford but it’s possible, from what I hear. With our rehab and fitness department, it was really intense what he did with us.
‘Physically he should be fine, now I have to make a decision about rhythm.’
The German warned his side not to underestimate Watford in their lunchtime clash at Anfield