Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is itching for football to return, saying it is still a “wonderful game” even without fans.
The Bundesliga became the first European league to return from its coronavirus suspension when it kicked off behind closed doors on Saturday, with several other leagues in Europe hoping to emulate their German counterpart.
The Premier League is among that group, with the English top flight eyeing a return to the pitch in June – though there are still plenty of issues to iron out before that can happen.
Several clubs have expressed their opposition to a proposed plan to play matches at neutral venues, while a host of players have admitted they are still concerned about their safety.
Klopp, whose Liverpool side are just two wins away from securing their first Premier League title, has admitted that players may not be at their best should football return in England, but said that every team will be in the same position after a potential lay-off of three months or more.
“Look, football is a game where pretty much we have the same situation. We play against another team,” Klopp told BBC’s Football Focus.
“We don’t have to be at our all-time best, we have to be at our best possible and that is exactly the same situation for the other teams.
“Whenever we will start we will have the same time for preparation and our job, as always, is to use the situation you are in. We will be in as good a shape as possible and that is what we have to use then.”
Should the Premier League be able to return, it would do so without fans in the stands. Though the experience won’t be ideal for players, Klopp is confident that his team and others will be able to adjust.
“We all started playing football without supporters and we loved this game not because of the atmosphere in a stadium,” Klopp said.
“Meanwhile, we are used to it and we know that’s the real football but now, if we can not play like this for a few months, hopefully only [a few months], that doesn’t mean the game is not still a wonderful game. I really hope that it works out in Germany and we can then start at some point in England as well.”