(Reuters) - Liverpool are still dangerous opponents even if their squad is suffering from fatigue after their penalty shootout win in the Super Cup, Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuettl said on Thursday.
Liverpool’s Super Cup game against Chelsea in Istanbul on Wednesday went into extra time and penalties and a number of players looked tired after 120 minutes on the pitch, with manager Juergen Klopp admitting that it was a demanding game.
“I heard the message from Juergen that he thought we would celebrate, (that) ... they were playing longer,” Hasenhuettl told reporters ahead of Saturday’s game.
“I was happy, but mostly because of the reason I have more pictures to show my players. Last year Liverpool I think played 13 times in the week and, in the 13 times they played at the weekend, they won 11 and drew two.
“This team has so much quality, and Juergen tries to put out maybe a little bit of an excuse for the fitness from his players. It’s not a problem for them after 120 minutes on the Wednesday to come here and make a good game.”
Southampton lost 3-0 at Burnley in their Premier League opener last weekend and Hasenhuettl said they had a “busy intense week” ahead of the European champions’ visit.
“We have worked very hard in the last two days,” the Austrian manager added. “Today we had a lighter session, they were a little bit tired today because we have worked hard but no injuries so far.
“So far we have not (got any injury concerns).”
While the transfer window for incoming players is closed for the Premier League, the European window is open until Sept. 2 and Hasenhuettl said he expects players to leave the club as they trim the squad.
“There are still a lot of possibilities for the players,” he said. “Most of them may be on loan but I think the best thing for the players and us would be something permanent because that helps both sides more.
“There is still a way to go in the European transfer period. The most important thing is what is best for us and the players. If we find the best package for all three sides, as it has to suit the other club, then a transfer can happen.”
Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar