Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp gave his take on the idea behind The Reds’ two 30-minute friendlies in Austria later today.
Klopp’s men face FC Wacker Innsbruck and VfB Stuttgart at 5pm and 5:45pm respectively today.
In an in-depth discussion about the potential benefits of the ‘mini’ friendlies, Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com the reasoning behind them:
“I’m so happy we could do that, really. We usually don’t find opponents for that because they say, ‘What would we want with 30 minutes?’
“But we had a seven-week break; so, not all, pretty much four or five people, but we had a long break, the longest for a long, long time. So we decided not to play too early. We wanted to give ourselves time to get in, to judge the intensity of training constantly, say, ‘That’s OK, here we want to do more, here we do less.’ We can do that between two sessions, we can do that between two days. That’s what we do.
“And then you have the first game and after that long time, 45 minutes is a tough one. You see that in all pre-seasons when you make 11 changes at half-time and the guys who leave the pitch after 45 minutes are not sitting in the dressing room saying, ‘Why did I come off?!’ They are really happy.
“I prefer this time that we go just for 30 minutes with really all we have, absolutely pretty much no break. Like you might hear us shouting sometimes in training where we then make these little breaks only but the rest is really just: go, go, go. That’s what I would like to see and see where it leads us to.
“It will not be the most organised, all this kind of stuff – how always. What we need to get back immediately is the impulse for the things we want to do and you can do that in games like this. It could be a bit chaotic or could be a bit wild – no problem with that.
“But this is the start for us playing-wise and I’m really pleased we find two opponents who say, ‘Yeah, the 30-minute idea is a really good idea.’”
Klopp was asked whether intensity was key in today’s friendlies, he said:
“Yeah, absolutely. It’s a session where it’s 30 minutes – it’s 30 minutes, that’s a lot but it’s only 30 minutes.
“That means we don’t have to react the next day with recovery or stuff like this; we just put in two sessions the next day and can carry on. But play the game anyway, 11 v 11 against two opponents, with changes and all these kinds of things. That’s the cool stuff about it.
“Usually the games are so important in pre-season but they interrupt the rhythm for training. This game doesn’t do that – that’s cool.”
Liverpool are still in Austria for their pre-season training camp. Wales international Harry Wilson and Neco Williams joined the squad this week while Diogo Jota is set to arrive in Austria on Wednesday.
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