LIVERPOOL medical chief Andy Massey has conceded that boss Jurgen Klopp’s training demands DID cause injury problems in his first two seasons in charge.
However, Massey insists the players’ bodies are now capable of handling the intensity Klopp demands.
“I always say that the manager is the most important person at the club and everyone else has to fit around his philosophy,” Massey said.
“Jurgen’s philosophy is very much that we’ve got to run further, run faster, run quicker than every other team because if we can do that then the skill will take over.
“So we’ve got to put the players in a position where they can do that.
“When Jurgen first came into the club, we tried to put that in there but the boys weren’t up to that physical level yet to meet the demands.
“At one stage, we had 13 hamstring injuries but now, with the benefit of two pre-seasons, we’re seeing the boys work so much harder and they look like they’re more protected.”
Klopp has been lambasted by Dutch coach – and notorious Twitter critic – Raymond Verheijen for supposedly overworking his players with the physical demands.
But Massey has explained how injuries will remain part of the game, but the focus is now on bringing them back to fitness over a quicker period of time.
“A lot of the stuff we do from a medical point of view, we hope that it makes people less injury-prone but the statistics don’t back up,” he added to Liverpool’s official website.
“There’s a UEFA group that looks at injuries with data from the last 15 years and injuries remain constant.
“Arsene Wenger was saying this recently, but people take it the wrong way.
“You’re still going to get the same number of injuries, but what we try to do is get them back quicker now, which we are making a bit of headway in to.
“So far this year, touch wood, we’ve had very few soft-tissue injuries and that’s coming from the fact the players are more accustomed to doing the massive workloads because they’ve had two full pre-seasons under their belts.”