Jurgen Klopp was pleased with Kostas Tsimikas’ Liverpool debut, with the player admitting his first few weeks at the club have been “really hard”.
Tsimikas is Liverpool’s only summer signing so far, with the left-back brought in from Olympiacos to provide cover for Andy Robertson.
The Greek international made his debut for the club in their 3-0 win over Stuttgart in pre-season, coming on as a half-time substitute.
And while admitting there are challenges ahead for the 24-year-old, Klopp thinks Tsimikas made a good first impression.
Speaking to LFC TV about Tsimikas’ debut, Klopp said: “Good, good. He’s a pretty quick player, obviously, and pretty confident as you’ll hear in a second in his interview.
“But he’s a really good player, and he did well. Of course, the next challenge for him is to get used to all our defending things.
“It will take time, no doubt. But when he has the ball it looks not so bad.”
Liverpool emerged victorious at the end of their clash with Stuttgart, which took place in Austria. Roberto Firmino, Naby Keita and Rhian Brewster got the goals.
Giving his overall thoughts on the game, Klopp added: “I’m very happy, very happy. It was a super intense session for us today because the weather, wow, it rained like crazy, the pitch was really difficult – you could see the water was still on the pitch.
“That makes football games always tricky. Good organised opponent obviously but we scored nice goals and for me most important was that we felt 45 minutes [of] football is different to a 90-minute session, because in sessions you make breaks, drinks break. Here is no break, so you just have to go through.
“That was the most important thing to do today and the boys did it, they felt the intensity of the game – very good. Tomorrow we do a little bit less, Monday two sessions, Tuesday is Salzburg, interesting. So, it’s all good. I think Ki-Jana [Hoever] rolled the ankle a little bit but apart from that they all should be fine, which is obviously very important.”
“How we made the goals, I would say that was absolutely exceptional. Obviously Taki [Takumi Minamino] is in pretty good shape, Kostas showed some nice glimpses of his talent.
“We know we have good boys here and that looked well. Curtis [Jones] first half [was] obviously around the goals, Harvey [Elliott] hard-working until the end, Rhian could have shot here, but they look really promising. How I said, they had to work today and that’s what they did, so I’m fine with the performance.”
TSIMIKAS VOWS TO BE READY FOR NEW SEASON
As promised by his manager, Tsimikas showed his confidence in his own post-match interview.
The full-back said he was happy to have put his new instructions into practice, vowing to be ready when the Premier League starts in September.
“I feel very good,” Tsimikas said. “I’m very happy I did my debut, now I have to work to play more in the league games and I want to be ready for everything.
“It was a good performance. We did what we do all these days in training, what the coach wants, we did in the pitch. We won and now we want to be ready for the final (Community Shield vs Arsenal) on the 29th.”
Reflecting on the whole process of settling in since his move, Tsimikas admitted training has been tough. However, he thanked his new teammates for helping him make a successful transition.
“Really hard, the sessions, but I have to try a lot to work hard and to be ready,” he said.
“Every player here made me welcome. A big thanks, they helped me a lot to do my best on the pitch, to give everything, and all together we hope for the best.
“All these friendly games are difficult. The first part is we have to be fit, that’s why, first of all, I try to run a lot and play hard.
“The result is most important, even in friendly games ahead of the competitive games. I want to start the new season. I’m looking forward to it and I hope we will achieve our goals.”