English Premier League

That’s more like it: Juergen Klopp confident Liverpool are on right track after Tottenham Hotspur draw

James Milner put the Reds ahead with a 43rd minute penalty on Saturday, but the visitors could not make their superiority count and conceded a 72nd minute equaliser to Danny Rose

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 28 August, 2016, 3:15pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 28 August, 2016, 10:48pm

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp expressed optimism about his team’s progress despite the frustration of a 1-1 draw against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

James Milner put Liverpool ahead with a 43rd minute penalty on Saturday, but the visitors could not make their superiority count and conceded a 72nd minute equaliser to Danny Rose.

Having beaten Arsenal and then lost at Burnley, Klopp’s men have only four points after three games, but he felt their display against Spurs demonstrated they are on the right track.

“This game showed again what we can do, how we can play. It was not only about pressing and things like this,” Klopp said.

“We did it really good, but we’re really flexible in offensive defending. We had wonderful moments with passing and all that stuff, the direction in our game.

“I wish we could have won it, but now we have to accept a point and that’s no problem because it’s Tottenham. They scored a goal and they could have won too.

“We have to accept it. We showed again that we can be really good and that’s what we have to show in each game and then everything will be good.”

Milner directed a nerveless penalty into the bottom left corner after Erik Lamela had been penalised for clipping Roberto Firmino right on the edge of the Spurs box.

With Spaniard Alberto Moreno still to convince in a Liverpool shirt, Milner is being asked to fill in at left back and Klopp suggested there could be a long-term future for him in the role.

“We’re going to need more players for different positions. We decided that Milly can play [there], especially with the style of play we think we should play,” said the German.

“Full back is not only a winger in offensive situations. It’s something like an eight in different moments, so that’s a really good position for Milly.

“Of course he still has to adapt and learn a little bit, because he has 500 games [of experience], but not in this position. So we have to work on it, as we work with every player.

“We were convinced that he can play the position that’s why we didn’t make a transfer in this position with another player.”

Spurs striker Harry Kane is yet to score this season, but having taken seven games to open his account last term – which ended with him winning the Golden Boot – manager Mauricio Pochettino is not worried.

“I think it’s a good signal that he didn’t score yet,” said the Argentine.

“Because last season he scored in game 10 and was the top scorer in the league. I sign again to do the same.”

Pochettino was the more satisfied of the two managers afterwards and hailed the “fantastic character” shown by his players as they fought to establish a foothold in the match.

Spurs goalkeeper Michel Vorm produced a series of alert interventions to keep Liverpool at bay early in the game.

The hosts were then forced into a first half reshuffle when right back Kyle Walker went off due to illness.

After Liverpool winger Sadio Mane had seen a goal disallowed for offside, Spurs equalised when auxiliary right back Eric Dier’s cross was flicked on by Lamela to Rose, who drilled home.

Pochettino refused to comment on Crystal Palace’s claim that they have rejected a bid from Tottenham for their winger Wilfried Zaha.

To date Spurs have made just two major signings – Victor Wanyama and Vincent Janssen, both of whom played against Liverpool – and Pochettino admitted the transfer window had been trying.

“I’m very happy with my squad. I never complain about my squad,” he said.

“We always try to find different types of players that can help us and mix with different characteristics. But the market is never easy and for us it’s difficult. But I am very happy with my squad.”