Jurgen Klopp's high praise for ‘outstanding’ Newcastle United and Steve Bruce
Jurgen Klopp has lavished praise on Steve Bruce and Newcastle United ahead of this afternoon’s game at Anfield.
Liverpool manager Klopp is wary of Newcastle, and he says his team’s 3-2 win at St James’s Park was one of their hardest games last season.
“I think of all the games we played last season, domestically and in Europe, that match up in Newcastle was one of the most fiercely-contested I can remember,” writes Klopp in his programme notes.
“Of course, there have been changes at Newcastle since, but from what I've seen early on, they are just as strong and dangerous now.”
Bruce – who succeeded Rafa Benitez at United in the summer – managed Liverpool players Jordan Henderson and Andy Robertson at Sunderland and Hull City respectively.
“Steve's record as a manager in England is outstanding, and I only have to listen to a number of my players who have worked with him to understand why he is held in such high regard,” said Klopp.
“Both Jordan Henderson and Andy Robertson speak with great affection of the help he gave them in developing and progressing during their careers. The stories they tell make it clear this is a manager whose players believe in him and will fight for him. I expect this today.”
Newcastle beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 away last month.
“I’m not usually a person to point at individual results as an indicator for an opponent – analysis should include much, much more than this – but Newcastle's performance and result against Spurs in North London is definitely something to be aware of,” said Klopp.
“They were outstanding, and proved as a team that they relish those sort of games. For a start, their own home ground is a wonderful, passionate arena, so games like today are what they are all about. We must be ready.
“I mentioned at the beginning about the game at Newcastle last season. A big part of that game was how ferocious their supporters were in backing their team. I'm pretty sure we expect the same in the away section this afternoon.”