Break brought welcome respite for Liverpool players, says Klopp

Liverpool players celebrate their victory over Southampton. The first-ever Premier League mid-season break has pleased the club’s coach Jurgen Klopp. (AFP/File)
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Updated 15 February 2020

Break brought welcome respite for Liverpool players, says Klopp

  • Liverpool coach takes his players to bottom-placed Norwich on Saturday

LONDON: The first-ever Premier League mid-season break pleased Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp as it allowed the runaway leaders to rest their aches and pains following the hectic festive period.

The 52-year-old German takes his players to bottom-placed Norwich on Saturday holding a 22 point lead over two-time defending champions Manchester City.

Klopp said the break will have done his squad the world of good as he knew from his own playing experience.

“I was a player myself. When I look back it feels like I played through 80 percent of the time with pain,” he said at his eve of match press conference.

“Nobody appreciated that because I played bad so it didn’t help. Nobody asked then. It is completely normal for a professional football player to play through pain.

“After that long period in December-January, there was no player in the squad who had no pain. Everybody had something.”

Klopp — whose Champions League holders travel to Atletico Madrid next week in their last 16 first leg clash — has also been boosted by the return to fitness from hamstring injuries of Senegal attacker Sadio Mane and veteran James Milner. Sane has missed the last four matches while Milner has been out since January 5.

“Millie (Milner) and Sadio are back. When they are back you consider them immediately,” said Klopp.

“Apart from (Xherdan) Shaqiri, (Nathaniel) Clyne and (Paul) Glatzel, all the players are in training. We have some good options. Hopefully, it stays like this for the rest of the season.”

Klopp says Norwich may be struggling at the bottom — they are 7 points adrift of safety — but he is full of respect for their adventurous style of play.

“I really admire that Norwich stick to their principles. It’s really good football, super coaching,” Klopp said.

“You can see all the patterns on the pitch, all the movements — that’s from the training ground. They’ve caused 95 percent of all teams real problems.

“They’ve lost a lot of these games, that’s why they’re in the situation they are, but for me, on the outside, it looks like a club that really sticks together.”

 

 


Saudi helpers step up to the tee at first women’s golf tournament

Updated 29 min 58 sec ago

Saudi helpers step up to the tee at first women’s golf tournament

  • Volunteers will have the chance to step inside the ropes and get up close with the sport’s leading players

JEDDAH: Saudi volunteers will be able to write their names into the history books by helping at the first-ever Saudi Ladies International professional golf tournament.

Competition organizers are looking to recruit hundreds of people to help with the smooth running of the four-day event from March 19-22 at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC).

Volunteers will have the chance to step inside the ropes and get up close with the sport’s leading players, including Order of Merit winner Beth Allen, three-time Ladies European Tour (LET) winner Carly Booth and Solheim Cup hero Azahara Munoz, as they compete for $1 million in prize money. 

The LET tournament in Saudi Arabia will mark the first time that professional female golfers have played competitively in the country, and comes hot on the heels of last month’s triumphant men’s equivalent, the Saudi International, won by Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell.

Online registration is now open for the debut event’s volunteers’ program.

Volunteers will be briefed before the event and receive a tournament uniform to wear while they work.

Marshals, including traveling, static, crossing and transitional positions, will be required for the tournament. Mobile scoreboard operators and walking scorers are among other roles that will offer volunteers a unique insight into the world-class event.

Mike Oliver, event director at Golf Saudi, said: “For the first year of this event, we are offering volunteers a chance to be part of history, working at the first professional women’s golf event to be held in the country.

“Volunteers, from both Saudi Arabia and abroad, will play a key role in helping us deliver a successful inaugural tournament,” he said.

A certificate of service will be presented to volunteers at the completion of the tournament.

As a bonus, volunteers will have their photo taken with the 2020 ladies winner during the prize presentation — a moment that will be seen by a worldwide audience via live broadcasts.