Jurgen Klopp has refused to put the pressure off Christian Benteke, despite the striker scoring winners in consecutive games against Leicester City and Sunderland to make Liverpool only the third team to take full points during the Christmas period. The former Borussia Dortmund manager believes the Belgian can improve his work rate and offer more options off the ball, something Klopp has been urging him to do since the start of his campaign.
The win over Sunderland has taken them level on points with Manchester United, trailing the Red Devils on goal difference. This has been a massive turnaround for the Merseyside club, who were languishing in 10th spot before Christmas, and Klopp will be hoping that the run of results can get them back to challenging for a top four spot in the upcoming year.
The Reds have a barrage of injury problems to handle, with Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi still recovering from hamstring problems. Klopp has warned Sturridge that he will not let the England interntional rush back into action after the 26-year-old spent the major part of the campaign out with multiple setbacks. The lack of options mean that Benteke is the sole option up front and the Belgian is ticking all the right boxes to get back into the good books of the manager.
"When a player scores the decisive goal, it's always a positive thing. But I'm sure Christian will know he can play better," Klopp said, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.
"But at this moment, we need his goals more than anything else. And he made it again, so we are relieved. It's a good sign, and there is more to come from him."
The manager is relieved to get six points from their last two games but insists that a lack of depth in the squad will make it very difficult for them to sustain in an extremely busy January period, where they play two games more than their competitors owing to their involvement in the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup.
"January is coming and we're playing every three days. Tonight was our squad we have at the moment. We had no more players. Everybody needs a bit of luck and we will see."