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    Monday, 26 December 2022

    Klopp makes Lionel Messi point as he discusses Liverpool form

    Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes there has been positive signs since his side held a training camp at Dubai ahead of the second  half of the season

    Lionel Messi

    Liverpool will resume their Premier League campaign at Aston Villa twilight today. The Reds  are aiming  to reduce the seven-point deficit to the top four following a training camp in Dubai that was warm.

    While their reign as Carabao Cup winners was ended on Thursday, Klopp has been more pleased with recent developments than he was prior to the season beginning in the summer.

    “All the signs I got in the Dubai training camp were super positive," says the Reds boss.

    "(Against City) I got a lot of positive signs.

    "If you want to be overly-critical, we had spells where we should have done better. But we should not forget who we played. It was a really good game - surprisingly good - and I trust in our process and the things we do. If all the signs you get are positive, I see no reason not to be positive.

    "It was completely different to pre-season. Completely different. I know we lost to Lyon (3-1 in a friendly), but all the games I saw we were going in the right direction. AC Milan (who Liverpool beat 4-1) was really good in all aspects of the game. I am positive we can pick up where we left off rather than go back to the start of the season."

    Villa may have a shortage of goalkeepers if Argentina's World Cup hero Emiliano Martinez is still on a break, second-choice Robin Olsen is still recovering from an injury, and Jed Steer just returned from injury. It could lead to the opportunity of 19-year-old Filip Marshcall, who participated in a 2-0 loss to Everton in an exhibition match that was closed to the public on Wednesday.

    Martinez's antics during the penalty shootout and the subsequent celebrations were met with criticism. Klopp, however, prefers to honor the longevity of legendary 35-year-old Lionel Messi and the example he's set.

    Klopp said: "Nothing to say about it (Martinez debate), congratulations for winning the World Cup. "It was really well deserved, a tough game and after 80 minutes the best final I ever saw in my life. It was absolutely special.

    "Argentina deserved it and when you saw the team and the country celebrating, then it probably hit the right country in difficult times. I am really happy for them, they waited for a long time.

    "The greatest footballer in my lifetime, Lionel Messi, the way he plays football in this age should give us all a hint at how long footballers can perform at the top level. We shouldn’t close the books too early. It was a joy to watch him."

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