Although it was expected that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp would stay the course with embattled ‘keeper Loris Karius ahead of their comfortable win over Middlesbrough FC last night, the German dropped to the bench with Simon Mignolet reclaiming the gloves and a clean-sheet to boot.
“I’m not interested in public pressure, I’m interested in the boy,” said the Reds manager, speaking to the press after the match. “There’s no reason to push him through the situation, he loses confidence,” he explained, hinting at the criticism the press has piled on the 23-year old. “Karius has a lot of things that other goalkeepers want to have. We want to develop the players – we don’t want to convince people that he’s not bad,” added Klopp, elaborating further. “I know him really well and he’s much better than he has been in the last two games. It’s a situation which Liverpool have as a long-term project.”
Mignolet was relatively untroubled throughout the 90-minutes at the Riverside Stadium as he made his first Premier League start since September, but a good save at the near post from a stinging Viktor Fischer shot was a timely reminder that the Belgian knows what he’s doing between the sticks. Expected to start when the Reds square up with cross-town rivals Everton on Monday night, the former Sunderland man could cement his place back in the starting eleven with another good performance. With that being said, Klopp won’t put a time frame on just how long he’ll be in the team — or, how long Karius will be out of it.
“No, that’s not how football works. I didn’t tell him. Now it is Simon’s chance,” said the Liverpool manager. “I am really happy with our goalkeeper situation. We have these two really, really good goalkeepers; a very experienced Alex Manninger, who is a wonderful person; three outstanding really young goalkeepers,” enthused Klopp. “Loris is still very young, he is a big, big goalkeeping talent and everything will be good in the end but there is no timeframe for when he will be back.”