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15th Dec 2016

Loris Karius looked exactly how you would expect on the Liverpool bench last night

Klopp also explained his criticism of the Neville brothers...

Robert Redmond

Loris Karius can’t have been surprised to find himself on the bench last night.

The Liverpool goalkeeper made at least two costly errors in the team’s previous two games.

Against Bournemouth, he fumbled the ball for Nathan Ake’s last minute goal in the dramatic 4-3 loss, and a week later he was culpable for Dimitri Payet’s equaliser against West Ham United.

Regardless of which side you fall on in the Neville brothers v Karius spat, the 23-year-old had been making mistakes and while he may yet develop into a very good goalkeeper, a spell out of the team probably isn’t the worst thing for him right now.

Middlesbrough v Liverpool - Premier League

According to football statistics website Squawka, Karius has made two errors in his 10 games that led to opposition goals. Simon Mignolet, Liverpool’s number one last year, made four errors that led to goals last season.

Neither are exactly exemplary records, but Mignolet may just be a steadier option for the moment, and kept a clean sheet against Middlesbrough in Liverpool’s 3-0 win on Wednesday night.

Karius looked less than pleased on the bench, which is perfectly understandable. When you find yourself sat next to Alberto Moreno at a football match, things probably aren’t going great.

3B6278B900000578-4033826-image-m-11_1481746284656The Daily Mail

Following the game, Jurgen Klopp backed his ‘keeper, despite dropping him for the game against the Premier League’s lowest scorers.

“I’m not interested in public pressure, I’m interested in the boy,” Klopp said.

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

Alex Ferguson took a similar measure with David de Gea when the Spanish ‘keeper struggled during his first season at Manchester United, and that worked out well for all parties.

The Liverpool manager appears to be taking a long-term view with Karius.

“Karius has a lot of things that other goalkeepers want to have,” Klopp said.

“We want to develop the players, we don’t want to convince people that he’s not bad. 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.”

Klopp also added to his comments earlier this week about Gary and Phil Neville and their criticism of his ‘keeper.

The Liverpool manager took the pair to task over their heavy criticism of his player, but stressed following the game on Wednesday that his comments were made tongue-in-cheek.

“Maybe I can say it clearly: my criticism of pundits was not for one second serious,” Klopp said.

“I only wanted to show how it feels to get criticised without having anything wrong, only with doing or saying for one second the wrong thing.

“The pundits need to know how it feels, so that is why I said it.”

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