They’re the fine margins in the Premier League
Someone asked me this week if Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp will be the first German manager in the opposition dugout at Turf Moor since we played Hamburg in 1961; I did point out that we’d played Stuttgart and Eintracht Frankfurt six seasons later and in any case Uwe Rösler was the Wigan boss when we clinched promotion in April 2014.
Klopp has been with Liverpool since replacing Brendan Rodgers in October last year and has already become a popular figure on Merseyside and, under normal circumstances, that’s where this game would have been played had their new stand and Anfield been ready.
Klopp said: “I’m so long in this business but I can’t exactly describe the advantage of a home game, but there is an advantage. Of course, the atmosphere always helps in good moments. I was never in this situation, but I heard that the home atmosphere can be different so that it doesn’t help one or the other team, that’s all possible.
“But I would think about it if I could change it, and I can’t change it. We have the situation with the new stand, we knew it for a long time, and so that’s absolutely clear. When the fixtures came out we knew the second matchday was Burnley, that’s difficult enough. It would’ve been difficult enough if it was here, there are no easy games to play in this league.
“That we play at Turf Moor is not something we really think about. I know about the home record of Burnley; until the Swansea game they were unbeaten (since January) so they are really strong and feel confident at home. That makes it not easy for us.
“But they are new in the league and if it had been for them the first away game at Anfield, that’s a nice atmosphere and something you are looking forward to when you are promoted, that would’ve been difficult too.
“That we play now in Burnley, that we then play at Tottenham, it’s nothing we can change so we don’t think about it.”
Asked about tomorrow’s opponents, Sean Dyche admitted: “In the game against Arsenal they were very good and as the game grew they got stronger and adapted to what the manager wants from them it seems.
“He spoke heavily about getting on the press and playing with tempo. It’s a style I personally like very much and it’s something we’ve done here. He’s got a depth of quality to deliver it and it’s a big task. You’ll hear me say that all season really because we can’t take anyone lightly in the Premier League.
“We’ll have to play well and I thought we did last week against Swansea but they’re the fine margins in the Premier League sometimes. There’s an awareness of them (Liverpool) but there’s a belief to what we do.”
Of course, he was asked about new signing Steven Defour and his chances of starting the games. he said about the Belgian international and his chances of playing: “Possibly. It’s one of the things we’ll look at accordingly and he’s certainly a player we’ve been on for a while to bring him in.
“He’s got quality, there’s no two ways about that, but the adaptation to the Premier League is what we’re looking for because it is different. I’ve spoken about that in some depth with him but his game understanding, having played international football and Champions League football, is pretty clear.
“It’s how he adapts to our group and how we want him to go into the Premier League and do well. He knows it will be a challenge for us. He’s not coming here thinking we’ll be rolling around the top three all season and he wants to be part of that.”
Going back to last week, he added: “I thought we should have got something last weekend, and possibly would have done but for a decision. But therein lies the reality of the Premier League. I think had that game been against a normal Championship side, we’d have won it hands down.
“The stats were very tight, but a Premier League team finds a way of hanging in there and there are such fine margins. It comes down to that in any sport. We are all watching the Olympics and the finest of things can make the difference between being a gold medallist, or missing out. It’s a similar thing in the Premier League, in terms of things being tight. We have to learn from that and move forward because we have another big challenge coming our way.”Follow UpTheClarets:
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