Jurgen Klopp backs Mohamed Salah to maintain form, uncertain on injury
LIVERPOOL -- Jurgen Klopp is confident Mohamed Salah will be able to maintain his excellent form for the entirety of the 2017-18 season, even if he is a doubt for Liverpool's next game on Monday.
Mohamed Salah's second-half double saw Liverpool produce a come-from-behind win over Leicester City at Anfield on Saturday afternoon.
The Egyptian's goals took his season tally to 23 in all competitions, which is the most by a Liverpool player before the new year since Roger Hunt in 1961-62.
"Yes, he can keep that standard for sure," Klopp told a news conference. "He's still a young player, he can improve. It's not only about scoring, it's about other situations as well. He's so important for us.
"But he knows and I know he couldn't score if he did not have the fantastic support of the other boys."
"I think he can keep this standard, but that's normal. All the boys can keep the standards they have in the moment. It's not that it's only a run or something. The boys show their quality and we did that already a few times."
Salah played 83 minutes of the match and was replaced by Georginio Wijnaldum, with Klopp revealing the goal scorer was suffering from a slight injury issue and would need to have his fitness assessed ahead of the New Year's Day trip to Burnley.
"I don't know in this moment exactly, but he was limping and that's never a good sign," Klopp added. "To be honest, we have to see what his problem was. We will see what he can do for the next game."
Saturday's comeback extended Liverpool's unbeaten run to 15 games in all competitions and ensured they would stay in the top four of the Premier League as they entered 2018.
Klopp was particularly pleased with the response from his players after Jamie Vardy put Leicester into the lead inside two minutes.
"You don't want to be 1-0 down, but if you're 1-0 down that early in the game then you want to see the reaction you saw tonight," he said. "That's the best reaction we showed so far when being 1-0 down.
"It was fantastic. I didn't see one nervous player, any real reaction in a negative way. We kept on going and created and played brilliant football. Defensively we were really strong.
"The main strength of Leicester is counter-attacking and quick transition, and if you're 1-0 down then it plays in their hands. That makes it more difficult.
"We did really well and I liked the first half a lot, apart from the result. Everybody in the stadium reacted in the right way and saw: 'Wow, what a game that is.'
"It was 100 percent one of the best [games] we've played so far."
Liverpool's £75 million signing Virgil van Dijk was in attendance at Anfield for the first time since his move from Southampton was confirmed earlier in the week.
When asked whether the signing of the Dutch centre-half has made certain Liverpool players nervous, Klopp said: "Look, that's professional football. The really good players will always say the challenge with other players for a position in a team will always help you.
"We cannot go in a season with two centre-halves. Hopefully nothing happens. The third one is already logical [and] if you have a fourth one then it's even better.
"No player should and can play a whole season. A club [like] Liverpool, we need to react in situations when a few are maybe not top level or injured. That's what we did.
"I don't think the boys were nervous. I couldn't see any of that tonight. They don't have any reason to be nervous because I was really pleased about the development of these players.
"We have to fight and to battle with the biggest teams in world football, so we cannot go there with a group of 11 and being best friends everyday. We need to have a squad who is ready for that and that's what we are building step by step."
Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.