News Matches

Robertson welcomes bold front four call as Liverpool add Jota to ‘phenomenal’ attacking trio

12:22 GMT 09/11/2020
Mohamed Salah Diogo Jota Roberto Firmino Sadio Mane
Jurgen Klopp avoided having to drop Roberto Firmino from his plans against Manchester City by taking the decision to be even more adventurous

Andy Robertson has welcomed Jurgen Klopp’s decision to enhance a “phenomenal” attacking trident at Liverpool by adding Diogo Jota and fielding a front four.

A bold selection call was made by the Reds boss for their visit to Manchester City.

Much of the build-up to a crunch clash between two Premier League title hopefuls had been dominated by suggestions Klopp needed to pick between in-form Jota and out of sorts Roberto Firmino when it came to leading to the line for Liverpool.

In the end the reigning champions opted to be even more adventurous, with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah also included in the starting XI that burst out of the blocks at the Etihad Stadium.

Robertson embraced that decision from his boss, with the Scottish defender telling Liverpool’s official website of the change in approach: “Look, that's what happens with players like Diogo – who scored a hat-trick in midweek, he's scored so many goals – and obviously the manager looked at it and thought, 'I have to get him in the team'.

“The front three have been phenomenal the last three years and then we bring on quality like Shaq [Xherdan Shaqiri], who is in such a good moment right now. He has played phenomenal football the past couple of weeks and then we bring on Millie [James Milner], trusty Millie, slotting in for Trent [Alexander-Arnold]. 

“That was part of us maybe adapting as a team, being able to play different formations, being able to play different personnel and things like that, and we managed to do that against one of the best teams in the league.

“I thought we did it pretty well and we can adapt, and it means that we can maybe play it more often, but the 4-3-3 has worked so well for us. So we won't play it all the time, but it means we can adapt to certain teams, certain situations and it's about us evolving as a team. So that was a big step.”

Liverpool had to settle for a share of the spoils against City in a 1-1 draw, but things could have been worse as Kevin De Bruyne missed a penalty for the Blues, and Robertson is looking for the Reds to kick on from this point.

He added: “I think when we started getting some injuries and lost a couple of players with Covid-19 and stuff, everyone expected the wheels to fall off, but we've managed to steady the ship a little bit and pick up some great results, especially in Europe.

“In the Premier League we've maybe not been at our best at times but we've picked up results and that's why we are near the top of the league. So, long may that continue and long may we keep building our confidence and building our performances.

“I think this was one of our best performances in a while and hopefully we come back from internationals full of confidence and we can really kick on because we are a good team. We will have lads coming back from injuries hopefully and we will only get stronger for that, so long may that continue.

“Hopefully we don't lose anyone during the internationals. We know we've got really important games – mine is the biggest for our country in a long, long time – but I hope we all come back fit and healthy.

“I hope we go and attack this Christmas period because it's going to be hectic, but we have dealt with it pretty well in previous seasons and that's what we need this season.”