Klopp defends his playing style amid Liverpool injury problems
Jurgen Klopp believes his high-tempo approach is not detrimental to the welfare of his players and claims Liverpool do not get the credit they deserve for dominating possession in matches.
The German manager became closely associated with aggressively closing down the opposition, particularly in periods of transition between defence and attack, as his Borussia Dortmund team won the Bundesliga twice and reached the final of the Champions League.
The 49-year-old has imported those methods to England, where they have been criticised by some as potentially putting players at greater risk of injury. Philippe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge and Emre Can are among those currently sidelined at Liverpool.
Klopp, though, has refuted those suggestions, claiming that winning possession quickly and being able to take the game to the opposition is much less tiring than being starved of the ball.
"It's not more intense than others," he told Spox when asked about his playing style. "And it does not hurt.
"It hurts when Barcelona lets you chase the ball and you're trying to get that ball. But when you win the ball and, ideally, fire a shot, then that's relaxation, mentally and physically.
"Just ask a boxer: He fires 100 punches, and those 95 missing the target are really exhausting. Those five hitting the opponent feel world class. That's the goal... players should feel that the effort is worth everything."
Klopp claimed his reputation for fast-paced football means the Reds, who have the second-highest average possession figure in the Premier League this season, have not received the credit they deserve for dictating matches through their use of the ball.
"Our possession has improved dramatically," he said. "Manchester City this season has just a marginally better possession [rate] than we have.
"But if you ask someone about the difference between the two teams, they would say: Man City has a footballing approach, Liverpool [use] counter-pressing.
"A lot of times, our footballing approach is underestimated. We don't say that counter-pressing is the only way of doing it right. It just made sense for us and is still an important part of our game. But we would like to have 90 per cent possession in a match."