Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool can handle the absence of injured playmaker Philippe Coutinho.
The Brazil international damaged ankle ligaments in his right leg in Saturday’s win over Sunderland and could be out for as long as six weeks, potentially ruling him out of the busy festive period. Matt Stead believes the Reds proved they could manage without him at the weekend.
Klopp’s forward line has already been affected by the loss of Danny Ings to a season-ending knee injury while Daniel Sturridge has a niggling calf problem.
Liverpool’s other successful creative force this season, Adam Lallana, is still not fit after a groin injury sustained on England duty but Klopp is confident they can cope.
“Phil Coutinho is a really good football player so if we cannot use him for the next few days or weeks each team in the world would feel it,” he said.
“But it is no excuse for anything. As good as he is he does not decide games by himself, although it sometimes looks like this.
“It is a team performance we create and he is a very important part of this team, absolutely.
“Of course we can handle it. If he is not in you have to show – and we will show.
“Phil’s not in, Adam’s close but not in, Daniel’s close but not in – all quality players and we miss them but you don’t look for excuses.
“We like to play football and I think the way we play it is possible without them but it would be better when they are all fit.”