Mohamed Salah can cope with hectic schedule, says Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp is mindful of the demands being placed on his star forward. (Reuters)
Updated 11 May 2018
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Mohamed Salah can cope with hectic schedule, says Jurgen Klopp

  • Egyptian took a private jet to collect an award
  • 'I would prefer he went home after work and put his legs up on the sofa'

LONDON: Jurgen Klopp insists Mohamed Salah won’t lose focus despite the increased demands on the Liverpool star at the climax of his record-breaking season.
Reds boss Klopp is frustrated that Salah had to fly to London to receive the Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year award on Thursday, just hours after being presented with Liverpool’s own Player of the Year prize.
Salah, who is also the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year, has not managed to add to his 43 goals this season in the last three matches and looked tired in Liverpool’s defeat at Chelsea on Sunday.
Liverpool need a point against Brighton on Sunday to seal the Premier League top four finish that guarantees entry into next season’s Champions League before turning their attention to the European Cup final against Real Madrid.
Salah is clearly the key to Liverpool’s success in those two crucial matches after scoring 43 goals in an astonishing first season following his move from Roma.
While Klopp admits Salah could have done without the additional non-football workload, he expects the Egypt winger to cope with the stress.
“It is quite difficult for a player because there are some many challenges constantly,” Klopp said on Friday.
“Yesterday we had our LFC Awards — good timing. The next challenge was the journalists (the FWA dinner).
“I know it was a very important award but to bring the boy again, on a Thursday night before the last game, to London to celebrate a party when we are not partying.
“It is not perfect and as a manager I would prefer he went home after work and put his legs up on the sofa watching a movie or going early to bed but he was early to bed, we organized it as good as possible.
“Problems are always problems if you are surprised and you think ‘Oh, I had no clue about that’.
“But it is perfectly planned always and the club is doing a world-class job in organizing everything so it is as smooth as possible.”
Klopp has tried to keep his players’ concentrated on the Brighton clash, but he acknowledged the awards season has become something of a distraction.
“You want to be really focused. The season now for most of the teams in the league is a nice time but for us it is work,” he said.


Maria Sharapova looks back to her best as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal show no signs of slowing down

Updated 18 January 2019
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Maria Sharapova looks back to her best as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal show no signs of slowing down

  • Sharapova dumps out defending champion Caroline Wozniacki.
  • Rafa and Roger brush aside young guns in straight sets victories.

LONDON: It is coming up to the end of the first week of the Australian Open, so we thought we would take a look and see how some of the big names fared on day five of the year’s first Grand Slam.

MARIA SHARAPOVA

Maria Sharapova warned she is in the sort of form to win the Australian Open after she dumped Carolina Wozniacki out with an impressive 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win. It was the Russian’s best win since her return from a drugs ban and she looked like a winner-in-waiting.
“I thought the level was quite high. I knew I’d get a tough match — she (Wozniacki) is the defending champion,” the five-time Slam champion said.
“I haven’t played many matches in the last year against top players so it was really rewarding to win that last set. These are the kinds of matches I train for.”



ROGER FEDERER

Ageless Roger Federer marked his 100th Rod Laver Arena match Friday by storming past Taylor Fritz, then looked forward to a “high quality” last-16 clash against another young gun, Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion continued his quest for a record seventh Australian Open title with a 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 third-round demolition of 21-year-old American Fritz in just 88 minutes of flawless tennis.
Next up is 14th seed Tsitsipas. And the 37-year-old Federer is looking forward to taking on the fiery young Greek, who is 17 years his junior.
Federer played him in the recent mixed teams Hopman Cup, winning a closely contested singles 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/4), and said he was impressed.
“I think he played really well there. I actually did too. I thought it was really high quality tennis,” Federer said.
“This is obviously a different type of match, it being best of five, it being a fourth round of a Slam.”



RAFAEL NADAL

Rafael Nadal declared “everything is a step forward” after brutally brushing aside Alex de Minaur at the Australian Open Friday in just the Spaniard’s third match since the US Open.
The world No. 2 was in ominous form as he continued his quest for an 18th Grand Slam by punishing the Australian teenager in a third-round tennis masterclass 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.
“In general terms, everything is a step forward. So that’s positive news for me,” said the man who won the Aussie Open in 2009.
“I’m very happy for the victory against someone who had won seven matches in a row, winning a tournament.”
On his fitness Nadal added: “Probably 10 years ago it would have been difficult not playing much tennis in the build-up but now I have been in this situation many times with the injuries I have had.
“I have to deal with the ups and downs of my body but I try to enjoy any moment on the court.”



MARIN CILIC

The former US Open champions was made to work for his place in the last 16 as he struggled to beat Fernando Verdasco 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6, 6-3. Verdasco showed glimpses of the form that once made him a top-10 player and had a match point, one he frittered away with a double fault.
I was just slightly luckier in those crucial moments,” the sixth-seeded Cilic said.
“(It is) unbelievable. Emotions were up and down,” Cilic said.
“When I was down two sets to none, it was a big hill to climb.”
It’s the seventh time in Cilic’s career that he has emerged to win a match after dropping the opening two sets.



ANGELIQUE KERBER

Second seed Kerber received a gift ride into the Australian Open fourth round for her 31st birthday when she overpowered local wildcard Kimberly Birrell 6-1, 6-0.
The Wimbledon champion swept world No. 240 Birrell aside in just 58 minutes to set up a last-16 clash with unseeded American Danielle Collins.
Kerber, a winner at Melbourne Park in 2016, said she was used to celebrating her birthday on the road at the season-opening Grand Slam.
“I think it’s the 12th time in a row,” she said. “I’m getting older but I have the best time here and I’ll never forget my birthdays here in Australia.”
Kerber reached the semifinals last year but lost to Simona Halep in a tight three-setter.