Klopp says kids will give Reds "beautiful" future as perfect home record falls

The immaculate home record is gone, but for Jurgen Klopp there was a hint of the perfection to come.

It had been 528 days since Liverpool last lost a point at Anfield. So this partially self-inflicted draw with an impressively organised and committed Burnley side “felt like a defeat” according to their manager.

He was angry he said, because the chance to set a new high mark of winning every top flight home game had gone.

Angry too, with the performance of referee David Coote, who offered little protection to keeper Alisson and denied Andy Robertson what appeared a clear penalty.

Yet the Klopp fire – more evident than ever without fans to drown out his impressively colourful use of English as a second language – was extinguished slightly by some sparks of what lies in store in the shape of teenage debutant Curtis Jones.

He has been around so long it is hard to believe this was his first Premier League start for Liverpool. His performance was that of someone who wanted to make a statement about that wait.

Perhaps it was a statement for the future too. Klopp knows he won’t be bringing in many new faces this summer, if any, so these final few games are less about records and far more about making his young talent ready to fill any gaps next season.

Some pundits are impressed. Danny Murphy suggested: “Jones is going to save Liverpool a lot of money in the transfer market.” Given there is no real money to spend this summer, such a prospect is vital for Klopp, even if he plays it down.

“I’m not sure it’s about how high the stakes are, it’s about how ready are the boys?” he said. “There are no old and young players, there are only good and not so good players and I hope we have only good players; exceptional players!

“The problem, not just for young players, but all players not now in the first line up – this team is really good! So it is difficult to play 40 games in a row.

“But young players have so much time on their hands that they really can improve and don’t have the pressure, especially not from us. If they use the time then the future is beautiful for them.”

There are some gaps to be filled – Adam Lallana will depart and James Milner is not getting any younger – so midfield is an area Klopp needs new blood. His hope is Jone will provide it. Reds midfielder Fabinho certainly thinks he can.

“Curtis is a very talented player, of course he has huge potential. We have a lot of confidence in him. He works very hard with us and he has a lot of personality.”

Jones almost won the match with a shot that flew inches wide, and looked to dictate the game – helping Liverpool provide a compelling first half where Andy Robertson provided a rare, fine header to open the scoring.

But with Mo Salah having one of those days when he was never going to score – missing a massive chance in the dying seconds to win the game – Burnley dug in, and then exploited an obvious weakness in the Reds’ set piece defence to level through a fine Jay Rodriguez finish.

The key is for the young players to show throughout the game, and when things get tough. That is where they can learn Klopp said: “It is not about making incredible steps – just to gain stability to be always there when you have to. Intensity.”

That is the key word – the one ingredient lacking as points were finally lost.

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