Liverpool FC

Klopp challenges ‘old enough’ Jones to find consistency

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Curtis Jones marked his second consecutive start for Liverpool with a brilliant goal in Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Brentford, leaving Jurgen Klopp hoping he can keep it up.

Jones will not celebrate his 21st birthday until the end of January, but he is firmly considered a first-team regular by Klopp and his coaching staff.

The midfielder made his first start of the campaign in the midweek victory over Norwich, and after playing 87 minutes in the League Cup, he was called upon again in the Premier League.

With Thiago, Naby Keita and Harvey Elliott all sidelined, Jones was preferred to James Milner as the third man alongside Jordan Henderson and Fabinho.

And the 20-year-old scored an excellent long-range effort to make it 3-2 on a wild night in west London, with Klopp challenging him to find consistency after the game.

“Curtis is a top player. Still a talent, but a really good package,” he told reporters.

“He showed that tonight, I thought he played a really good game. He won, in the first half, the best balls for us, he was really good in these situations.

“On top of that he was involved in all football situations. He dropped in the right spaces, was brave in between the lines, so many good things.

“But that’s football, and he’s still young.

“His consistency is maybe sometimes a little bit the issue, but in this moment he’s in a really good moment.

“I think he’s now old enough to keep that moment going.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 25, 2021: Liverpool's Curtis Jones (C) celebrates with team-mates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Brentford FC and Liverpool FC at the Brentford Community Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Immediately after Jones’ strike, however, he was brought off in a substitution prepared prior to his goal, which denied him the chance to build on the momentum.

Asked about his thinking behind the change, Klopp insisted he still felt it was the right decision to bring on Roberto Firmino and switch to a 4-2-3-1.

“When we decided to make the change it was 2-2,” he said.

“But the reason for it was, the way they played, we didn’t really need a third midfielder. We needed more [in attack] because they only played long balls.

“So we needed a clear structure, we needed players who pick the ball up around the centre-halves, and when we did that, it really made sense that we had one more player in between the lines, changing our structure to give them another thing to think about.

“I actually think that worked really well.”

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