Brad Smith has been speaking to the media in the aftermath of Australia’s thumping 7-0 and 5-1 wins over Tajikistan and Jordan over the weekend.
Smith started both matches, and after a pair of impressive performances he appears to have claimed the left-back spot for himself.
He claims he has been aided by the similar tactics deployed by both Klopp and Aussie boss Ange Postecoglou.
“We actually play very similar, they like to press very hard and the tempo is always fast, so it’s good to have the manager at the club and to come into the Socceroos and the style is the same. It’s easier for me to fit in,” he said (via Echo).
“The experience helped a lot, Klopp is a great manager and he’s given me my chances. So far it’s going well and I’m enjoying it, that helps with the experience coming into the camp, with the big crowds, it calms you a bit.”
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Smith, who has played seven times for our first team since the German took control, then moved on to discuss our boss.
“He’s a great manager, he’s a bit crazy,” claimed the youngster.
“He’s really hands on with all the players, individually goes and talks to me about what he thinks I need to work on and it’s to work on my defensive play, because he likes me going forward, so he’s got me to work on that really.
“It was a crazy season coming back to Liverpool, the manager took a liking in me and gave me a few chances. It’s going well but it’s a big club and naturally I’m not in the squad every week.
“He sat me down and told me that’s going to happen because of the big players there. Every chance I get, I’m enjoying it.”
Smith is now our clear cut back-up left-back, having squeezed Jose Enrique down the pecking order. Even so, he is by no means guaranteed a future with the club; Alberto Moreno is well-established as first choice, and rumours linking us to German international Jonas Hector have also been gathering pace in the last few days (via Express).
Is Smith going to be good enough for the highest level? Should he be loaned out or kept in the squad in 2016/17? Let us know your thoughts!