Injuries to key players will leave Liverpool counting the cost of victory over Stoke
Despite a win on Tuesday night at the Britannia stadium, Klopp's side suffered a number of injuries22:33 Tuesday 5 January 2016, 22:33 5 Jan 2016
It was a wet (and presumably windy) Tuesday night at the Britannia stadium, and despite a win which will see them take a lead to Anfield for the second leg, Jurgen Klopp will be worried about a growing injury list.
The first half saw Philippe Coutinho carried off with a hamstring injury to be replaced by Jordon Ibe, and while the substitute did manage to slot home the only goal of the game, Klopp was left cursing his luck after the match.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he praised his side's performance, saying "from the first second of the the game they had the perfect reaction to the last game; lively, aggressive, compact, everything you need. Of course we had at least two bad injuries, that's why I'm not feeling so lucky tonight".
Dejan Lovren was also taken off with a hamstring problem, forcing the German to readjust and slot Lucas in at centre-back for the remainder of the first half and the rest of the game.
While Stoke have been looking to change their style, they looked at that as an area that they could get some joy and made the decision to bring on Jonathan Walters for the second half and put a makeshift back four under real pressure.
Later on in the game, still searching for a telling goal, they also introduced Peter Crouch but failed to put the patchwork defence under enough pressure to make them uncomfortable for prolonged periods.
Stoke have shown a number of times already this season that they have the ability to pass their way through teams and catch them on the counter attack well, but they never really clicked into gear in front of their home crowd.
While the second half would have suited a change in style for Hughes' side, to try and play long to Walters and, in the dying stages, Crouch, they failed to make that advantage count.
Having opted for a starting side that would have looked to play the ball on the ground more than whip in crosses or hit long balls, Hughes may change tact for the second leg, where Liverpool will more than likely struggle to field an experienced defence.
The second leg takes place at Anfield on January 26th, but with a match against Exeter in the FA Cup this weekend, as well as a big Premier League game against Arsenal in the middle of next week, Klopp acknowledged that they would be stretched to the very limits over coming weeks and days.
"In our position, with three injured center halves and the last fit one got a cramp in the end of the match, it's not the funniest thing in the world [...] between now and then [the second leg] we have four games, if we have eleven players then we will fight".
Speaking before the match, Tony Barrett told Off The Ball that, while Klopp has never signed more than four players in a transfer window and has been keen to bat away any transfer speculation, he believes that Klopp is "being diplomatic with some of the things that he's sad about the players he inherited".
He added that, after such a poor performance on the weekend, the manager said "his faith in players is not limitless, it is being put to the test and it was put to the test against West Ham".
Combining that with the fact that there are a number of injuries to deal with, and that Klopp has targets he wants to achieve himself, there may be transfer activity for the club in the coming weeks.
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