Liverpool forward Sadio Mane out for the season as knee surgery looms

"Sadio will, we're pretty sure, needs surgery", Klopp told reporters.

Liverpool's Senegalese midfielder Sadio Mane celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on December 19, 2016.

Coutinho, forced off in Wednesday's draw against Bournemouth after being sick at half-time, is a major doubt for Saturday's trip to Stoke leaving Klopp with a major selection headache.

The news comes as a hammer blow to Liverpool's Champions League qualification hopes, with the Anfield club now just six points ahead of fifth placed Arsenal, having played two games more. Liverpool struggled without their £34m ($42.2m) summer signing earlier in 2017, failing to win any of the three matches he missed as the result of his involvement at the Africa Cup of Nations. Yes, we have conceded a few too many.

"That is what I half-expected when I saw him after the game".

Klopp also confirmed that Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana are still not back in full training as the midfielders continue to recover from their respective injuries.

Klopp had tried to avoid a slip-up by switching to a three-man defence with 25 minutes to go, when he replaced the ill Philippe Coutinho with centre-back Joel Matip, but that could not prevent a late long throw leading to Josh King snatching a point for the visitors.

"(Jurgen) Klopp has signed a contract for five or six years and I'm sure each year he'd be looking for progression, so maybe after another good two or three years Liverpool should have a great chance".

Ragnar Klavan insists Liverpool do not feel vulnerable at set-pieces and claims they have enough team spirit to overcome minor blips and qualify for the Champions League.

The Brazil worldwide will be given as long as possible to prove his fitness but has not trained for the last two days.

With Daniel Sturridge fit but not having kicked a ball in anger in two months, Klopp accepts the lack of strength in depth of his squad has been exposed.

"We know we have had bad luck this season with injuries and stuff but we keep on fighting with the team spirit".

"I don't think we should discuss if we have made progress".

"After this season, with all the problems we have had, is good but the season is not finished".

  • Julie Sanders