Mohamed Salah’s slow start to the season no problem for Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

There is a lot of expectation on the shoulders of Mohamed Salah after his record-break exploits last season. (AFP)
Updated 21 September 2018
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Mohamed Salah’s slow start to the season no problem for Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

  • After this record-breaking season last campaign the Egyptian ace has only two goals so far this term.
  • Liverpool face Southampton this weekend having won all five matches so far.

LIVERPOOL: Mohamed Salah’s slow start to the season is not causing Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp to lose any sleep.
The 26-year-old Egyptian star — who had a disappointing World Cup after entering it with a shoulder injury he suffered in the Champions League final — has scored just twice this term.
Klopp’s lack of concern over his form is supported by the 44 goals he scored in all competitions after a similarly slow start in his first season with the club.
“Wow, that’s a crisis,” said Klopp sarcastically ahead of Liverpool’s clash against Southampton on Saturday.
“No one remembers that (his slow start last season), it is really no problem.”
Klopp, whose side have begun the season in great style and are yet to drop a point after five Premier League matches despite Salah’s lack of goals, admitted the Egyptian’s superb record had raised expectations.
“Of course, of course everyone expects that, that is clear,” he said.
“We don’t expect that. We want him to score as often as possible. It is completely normal everyone expects that.”
The German, whose side opened their Champions League campaign with a thrilling 3-2 home win over French champions Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, said Croatian central defender Dejan Lovren, who has yet to feature after picking up a hip problem at the World Cup, is getting closer to return to the squad.
“Dejan is close,” said Klopp. “He looks really fit. He did a lactate test last week so fitness-wise he is — for his situation — on a really OK level.
“He is not for the squad for the weekend, of course, but we will see how soon we can try to involve him again.”


Lewis Hamilton tells rivals ‘catch me if you can’

Updated 20 February 2019
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Lewis Hamilton tells rivals ‘catch me if you can’

  • Five-time world champion feeling confident of a sixth crown ahead of new season.
  • Pre-season testing going well in Barcelona.

BARCELONA: Lewis Hamilton has warned his rivals they had better get ready to catch his dust as he is feeling “better than ever” ahead of the season.
The 34-year-old Briton enjoyed a near flawless run to secure his fifth drivers’ title last year. He won 11 of the 21 races to beat Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel with two races to spare, and he expects the Italian marque to once again keep him on his toes.
“Ferrari are very strong,” Hamilton said in Barcelona on the third day of pre-season testing.
“It appears they have a better package than last year, which means it will be a bigger challenge for us.
“In the last few years, Ferrari has looked good from the very beginning so that’s to be expected.”
But he said it would be a mistake to draw any hard and fast conclusions from the evidence thrown up by testing.
“We’ll have a better idea I guess this time next week where we stand but still then we won’t know what fuel loads everybody is on and who is showing their cars and who isn’t.”
Hamilton, with a new two-year deal that will earn him £40 million ($52 million) a season, is buzzing after the winter recess.
“I feel in the best shape that I’ve been in,” he assured his fans, as he embarks on his quest for a sixth championship and record sixth consecutive constructors’ crown for Mercedes.
On a sixth title he shrugged: “I am not even focusing on that. It’s a new season, a new year, a new chapter and we have to approach like it’s our first.
“We’re going for number one, that’s how I approach it.
“But it’s not something that I allow my peers to talk about. It’s not what we are here for to focus on that number.”
He dismissed out of hand any notion of complacency setting in at his all-conquering team.
“We are always driven to do something new and to break boundaries and do stuff that no one else has done before but we are fully aware of the work that it will take to deliver something like that and it’s by no means like ‘yeah we are going for the sixth’ like it’s a relaxed thing.
“It’s not like that.”
Hamilton’s bid for title number six begins at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 17.