- Jurgen Klopp praises Dejan Lovren for his resilience since Wembley collapse
- Croatian was subbed in first half after being at fault for Tottenham’s two early goals
- Lovren could be in line to feature when the two teams meet again at Anfield on Sunday
- SEE MORE: Star Liverpool midfielder to miss out on Tottenham clash
Jurgen Klopp has paid tribute to Dejan Lovren for his positive response since being substituted in the first half of October’s 4-1 defeat to Tottenham.
The Croatian was dragged off after 30 minutes having been largely responsible for Spurs’ two early goals, which set the tone for the remainder of the game.
It arguably ranked top of Lovren’s rueful performances in a Liverpool shirt, with some fans having deemed his Wembley capitulation as a defining point in his career with the Reds.
He has subsequently shown great resilience to put his day in the capital behind him, although the jury, as it has for much of his time with the club, remains out on where his future lies.
Klopp told the Liverpool Echo’s James Pearce: “He’s played a few fantastic games since Tottenham and before as well. Tottenham was a very bad game of the whole team.”
“He was not good that day that’s true but after the game I said I could have changed five or six players at least in that moment but we decided for Dejan.”
“We had a few talks afterwards. I thought it was a normal thing. He obviously thought different so we had a few talks. I have to make a lot of decisions and not all of them I explain afterwards to the players.”
“It was not an easy moment in the world of football to do something like that in public before half-time. It causes a story, but he has responded fantastic so all good.”
Lovren produced a string of encouraging performances over the festive period and was handed the captain’s armband for Liverpool’s 4-3 win over Manchester City.
The £75million signing of Virgil van Dijk has offered up a new challenge in Lovren’s fight to hold down a starting spot, not to mention his secure his future on Merseyside.
Joel Matip appears his nearest rival in the battle for to be a long-term partner for the club’s record signing, although the former Schalke man has struggled to impress so far this season.
Joe Gomez marks another worthy threat having starred at right-back in the absence of Nathaniel Clyne this campaign whilst taking significant strides towards transitioning to his preferred central role.
Besides the chance to consolidate Liverpool’s third-place position in the Premier League, there is an individual motivation on Lovren’s part to make amends at Anfield on Sunday.