It’s good. Of course he is still adapting, how players always adapt. New players come in and everybody talks about them and wants them to shine immediately. That happens from time to time, and sometimes not. Only yesterday we had a long talk with Pep Lijnders – because my Spanish or Portuguese is still not better – and we just told him we are completely calm. It’s really important in our situation when he is now not starting, and he is not looking like he is worrying or whatever.
Why he didn’t start this game [against Brighton]he came from international [duty] and he had DOMS in the hamstring. When you get this information from the medical department, it gives you some kind of minutes, how long he is allowed to play. Don’t start anybody who is allowed to play 20 minutes or 15. I know it’s again this kind of discussion we open up a little bit for the outside world. Of course the three-game suspension didn’t help him to settle, that’s clear. But that’s pretty much all. The team is not flying, that makes it not easier for a striker, especially not for a finisher. We create chances but it’s not that everything is clicking and we just put [a ball] in for one player and he finishes our situations off. That’s not our situation in the moment, as much as I wish it would be, and that’s all.
On whether there is a ‘quick fix to help Liverpool’s defense’ and whether he has the time…
No, we don’t have the time. Is there a quick fix? Yes, we can improve, we can play exactly the same and do better – that’s already a fix. So that’s how it is, timing gets better. But how I said, if we can do something, we will do that as well to make it easier for the boys. That’s it. That’s actually always the job. How I said, it’s the same job I have in the time when you win 10, 12 times in a row – it doesn’t happen very often but you have to stay on top of it, work on details, all these kind of things. . That’s what we do now, just with a different confidence level, so that’s how it is. Usually in the time when you win a lot of games, not everything is going your way in the game but there’s no impact. Lose the ball, they have a chance, whatever, that happens, Ali makes an insane save, probably then we made a mistake before and nobody has [it] in his mind. That’s different in the moment and that’s where we have to get to. We have to increase the amount of good moments and decrease the amount of not-so-good moments because that’s how you get out of every situation in life until you can make mistakes again without being as impactful as they are in the moment.
On former Liverpool defender Ben Davies, who signed for Rangers in the summer…
Ben is a really good player. I know that he was injured, so you tell me how impactful he was – I have no idea. He was out for six, seven weeks? So the season is not much longer, so how many games did he play? The games I watched were the last three, it means I only saw him now in the 60-odd minutes he played there. Ben’s a really good footballer. He was here, good build-up, good defender, all these kind of things. In our situation, it didn’t work out here but that doesn’t make him a bad player. Not at all. Especially, he’s a really good boy. I think that’s what Rangers wanted and that’s what Rangers got. When you’re injured, it’s not helpful obviously and I think they were looking for a left-footed center-half there, and they got it. He can play different systems, which is important. Rangers played in the Champions League one-and-a-half games, around about, with five in the back – usually they don’t. But Ben can play both, played both formations, so it makes him a really valuable player for each squad and especially for Rangers. I think they are happy but obviously were not happy when he got injured – how can you be happy then?