Liverpool ready to 'play ugly' without injured Mane

Despite results of a first scan on the forward's knee coming back inconclusive due to swelling, Klopp ruled the Senegal worldwide out of contention for Wednesday night's meeting with Bournemouth, admitting the situation was not "very positive". I always respect the decision of the coach and, for me, the most important thing is to stay cool in the head and enjoy the game every time, play a part and help the team. "Not very positive but we have to wait and see". "But I wouldn't say that a weight is lifted because I'm very ambitious and my goal is to be a leader in this team", he said.

"Now it's a major talking point but I hope it stops being one soon and we get back to scoring them". We had, of course, an assessment and a scan, but have to wait a little bit until the knee is not that swollen anymore. Even then - especially then - the more hard the situation the better it is to handle it.

"With eight games left [it's a big blow]", he said on LFC TV, when discussing Mane.

"It's not about playing the best football in the world, it's about getting results - and that's what we are fighting for". But the Liverpool manager insists his squad are better equipped to cope without the forward at this stage of the campaign and hinted a more defensive approach may be required to secure a top four finish.

Instead of seeing dancing-happy Sturridge driving his resurrection, hand in hand along with his team's improvements for top spots, the 27-year old has come all the way down to your simple reference in the context of options Jurgen Klopp can think about of fielding to replace his star player.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp raised concerns over Mane's injury by admitting he "missed his speed" during his January absence and also conceded that he doesn't have a like for like replacement for the Senegalese speedster.

"Yes, it felt like this in these moments but it gave young boys the opportunity to show themselves".

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"Now we have to find the solution but we don't have a one-for-one replacement".

"We don't think about what we miss, we think about what we can do to win this football game", the German added. He has struggled to revive the form he demonstrated prior to suffering injury a year ago and has used primarily as a back-up. We have the possibility to change formation.

"It's another tough game but we're going to go there with confidence; we're unbeaten in the last four games and we'll be looking to take that on", he said.

  • Julie Sanders