Klopp defends under fire keeper despite first-team exclusion

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Jurgen Klopp has leapt to the defence of Loris Karius following the under fire goalkeeper’s poor run of form in the league.

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A string of costly errors in the recent games against Bournemouth and West Ham has seen the summer signing from Mainz roundly criticised by fans and high-profile figures in the media alike, with a number of pundits, including Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville particularly vocal in their disapproval.

With the Anfield crowd turning and Karius under immense pressure, Reds manager Klopp made the bold decision to drop the 23-year-old for the midweek trip to face Middlesbrough.

But after the match, which Liverpool won 3-0, the German insisted that his fellow countryman still had a big role to play in the club’s future.

“Karius has a lot of things that other goalkeepers want to have. We want to develop the players – we don’t want to convince people that he’s not bad,” he said.

“I know him really well and he’s much better than he has been in the last two games. It’s a situation which Liverpool have as a long-term project.”

Questioned on the decision to drop Karius, the ex-Borussia Dortmund boss admitted that he’d wanted to protect the youngster from the deafening criticism.

“I’m not interested in public pressure, I’m interested in the boy,” he added

“There’s no reason to push him through the situation, he loses confidence.”

In Karius’ absence, replacement Simon Mignolet excelled between the sticks as Liverpool recorded an emphatic 3-0 away win over Boro.

Goals from Adam Lallana (2) and Divock Origi sealed the three points for Jurgen Klopp’s men, with Belgian Mignolet making several important saves with the game evenly-poised.

Karius is now expected to remain on the bench for Monday night’s Merseyside derby against Everton.

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