Coutinho: ‘I have to adapt to new strikers’

Date published: Wednesday 11th November 2015 1:46

Philippe Coutinho Liverpool

Philippe Coutinho claims he is working hard to improve his tally of just 14 key passes this season, saying Jurgen Klopp demands he practises “again and again”.

Liverpool drew three and won three in their first six games under Klopp before losing for the first time under the new manager against Crystal Palace at the weekend.

Coutinho got on the scoresheet in that game, following his brace at Chelsea the week before, but the Brazilian is still getting used to a new way of playing and is working hard on the training ground to tailor his passes to the Reds’ different forwards.

The Brazilian has been credited with just two Premier League assists this season – both in the 3-2 win over Aston Villa in September.

“I have to adapt to them, but it’s not only me who must do this,” Coutinho told the official Liverpool FC magazine.

“When you get new players, especially strikers, it is the job of all of the team to give them the service they need.

“I have to learn whether it is right to play a fast ball or a pass along the ground, depending on who I am playing the ball to.

“The training sessions are very, very important for this adaptation process to happen. We work on this every day in training and the sessions are very intense.

“If we’re not doing it right, or something isn’t working, we do it again and again until we get it right. The more you train with your team-mates, the more you learn about each other and this is important for the team to do well.”

Coutinho also gave an insight into what Klopp has been asking of Liverpool’s players since taking over from Brendan Rodgers at Anfield.

“He asks for us to play with as much freedom as possible when we have the ball, but when we lose it we are asked to recover it as quickly as possible,” Coutinho added.

“We press very high with the intention of trying to make the other team lose the ball close to their goal. If we do it right, and win the ball back in these areas, it gives us a better chance to score.

“The most important thing is that it is imperative for the team to press together. This is what we have been trying to do and this is how we are developing as a team.”

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