Jurgen Klopp on the ‘two incredible players’ he text straight after Liverpool qualified for the Champions League final

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Jurgen Klopp was quick to ensure that he thanked two very important individuals, after Liverpool defeated Villarreal in the Champions League.

Speaking with Sky Sports, the 54-year-old said: “I messaged Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips because we wouldn’t be there without them.

“I remember the final game of last season and they left the pitch with a bandage around the head, cuts on their faces, and that was really a symbol for the whole period. We went through on one leg, with one eye… it was incredible. It was such a tough season.”

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The boss continued: “Hopefully nobody forgot how hard we fought to get here. We felt it mentally. The public wasn’t shy of telling us that we underperformed and all these kind of things.

“You try to understand, you think, ‘Wait a minute, we’re facing teams in the strongest league in the world having played for the majority of the time without our full defence.’ We had no centre-halves, had to play midfielders in the last line, then had to use other players in midfield and nothing worked really.

“In the end, we played with two incredible players – Rhys and Nat – but we couldn’t use them earlier because they needed time to adapt. So, yes, there was a bit of a point to prove and I’m really happy that the boys did that.”

There’s no surprise to hear that the boss could acknowledge the role of Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips in helping the Reds qualify for European football last season.

Them two, along with the miracle goal scored by Alisson Becker, were huge in our run-in last campaign and their role will never be forgotten by many of our fans.

It’s great to hear how quick the German ensured he thanked the two stand-in defenders.

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