Jurgen Klopp has thanked his fitness coaches after they worked against the clock to get Adam Lallana fit for the game against Manchester United on Monday (17 October) despite the midfielder being a major doubt owing to injury. The midfielder picked up a groin strain during Liverpool's win over Swansea City prior to the international break, which saw him miss England's World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia.
The former Southampton star, who has started the season in fine form, was a major doubt for the clash against the Red Devils, but was passed fit enough to start on the bench despite training for just two days. The German coach was delighted to have him in the squad and admitted that he could have started, but they were unsure how long the midfielder could play after spending the last two weeks out of action.
Lallana made an instant impact when he was introduced in place of Daniel Sturridge just before the hour mark. The English striker had a night to forget as he was barely involved in the game throughout his time on the pitch. The arrival of the former Saints midfielder, immediately added more impetus to the Liverpool attack, but they were unable to break a resolute United defence, with the match ending in a 0-0 draw.
Klopp, however, defended his striker despite his lack of involvement, suggesting that the defensive nature of the game made it difficult for his number nine to be involved on a regular basis.
"He's a good player, so it was no surprise. But he trained for two days — maybe he could've started, I don't know, he was really close," Klopp said, as quoted on Liverpool's official site.
"Thank you to the medical department, the fitness coaches, because they did a great job. After two days training, he could've played, but no-one knows for how long. When he came in he was really sharp, greedy, after 12 or 13 days, to feel the ball again," the German coach explained.
"It was a really difficult game for a striker, the way we played it wasn't easy to enjoy for a striker," the Reds boss said, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.
"In the first half Phil made a brilliant run and wanted to pass to Daniel but Mane was free on the right.
"We had a really good attitude, the players worked really hard and tried everything, but only with the wrong tools."