The manager also mentioned forward Roberto Firmino – a summer signing with one goal for the club to his name so far – on Saturday as he insisted he was content with the options he already has. “It is a situation I can work with,” the German said ahead of Sunday’s Barclays Premier League game against West Brom. “And if you take a new player, a striker, who can help you immediately, and then when the day comes and Daniel is back in the race and maybe better than before, more confident, fitter than before, then we would sit here and talk about all the problems we have with all these players that are not playing and so on. “So I am not like this, sorry.” Klopp – who does have five-goal playmaker Philippe Coutinho back available now after a recent spell out with a hamstring injury – gave an update Sturridge’s progress, emphasising the need to give the England international “more resistance for the intensity of football”. Klopp said: “At the moment he is doing aerobic training. It is very important to give him a better base than he had before. “We have to give him more resistance for the intensity of football. That is what we do, together with him.” Klopp expects Jordon Ibe to be fit to return to the Liverpool squad on Sunday after the winger missed the 0-0 Europa League draw at Sion on Thursday due to illness. Klopp also revealed that defender Mamadou Sakho, absent for the last six games because of a knee complaint, has returned to training and could be available for the trip to Watford on December 20. Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has stressed he is not looking to recruit a new striker in the January transfer window. Press Association The Reds are once again without the injury-plagued Daniel Sturridge after he was ruled out for a number of weeks by a hamstring problem sustained last weekend, while fellow frontman Danny Ings (knee) is sidelined for the rest of the season. The strikers available to Klopp are Christian Benteke, scorer of five goals in all competitions since his summer move from Aston Villa, and Divock Origi.
While it is hard to overlook the USC men’s volleyball team’s trip to the MPSF championship match just a year ago, the club’s mounting losses and inability to sustain consistent periods of execution have put an even greater premium on winning, and winning now.The Trojans will look to right the ship this weekend in Honolulu, where they will face off against Hawai’i on Friday and Sunday to conclude their four-game road trip. After christening the trip with a decisive 3-1 victory over Pacific, the Trojans fell 3-2 to Stanford on Sunday, dropping to 4-9 on the season.The triumph against Pacific was a welcome sight for USC head coach Bill Ferguson, who saw his team drop three consecutive critical matches during a four-game homestand at the Galen Center.“I thought we took care of the easy plays a lot better,” Ferguson said. “We focused the entire week on outplaying and out-competing the opponent. We talked to them about playing at an increased intensity, and we felt like we withstood their challenge, so winning was huge for us.”Not surprisingly, the Trojans were once again led by their workhorses, as redshirt junior opposite Tanner Jansen recorded 21 kills while sophomore middle blocker Robert Feathers collected 16 kills. The momentum failed to lift the team against the Cardinal, however, as the Trojans recorded 20 service errors en route to the five-set defeat.“We’re starting to rack up some more aces, which is good, but we still have a high number of errors,” Ferguson said. “We’ve had to become more of a high-risk, high-reward team. Our team has to get used to playing in that manner. We dug ourselves a hole early, but I thought we did a great job of coming back in the fourth set and staying involved in the match.”The team’s subpar performance throughout the season is glaring in comparison to the success of the 2012 squad, and it remains to be seen whether Ferguson’s optimism and emphasis on greater team effort will come as motivational tools for his players as they enter the second half of their schedule. Still, it is important to note that while last year’s team cruised to a 24-6 record and an appearance in the championship game, they were able to do so on the strength of 2012 national player of the year Tony Ciarelli and All-American middle blocker Steven Shandrick , both of whom are gone.“I think our guys understand the importance of our opponents and the importance of the season,” Ferguson said. “They know what these games mean to us and they are aware of the task at hand, so we’ll be ready to go.”Despite the team’s struggles this season, a trip to Hawai’i not only represents a homecoming for multiple players on the squad, but also provides a better playing atmosphere, in Ferguson’s eyes.“(Hawai’i) is probably the best volleyball environment in the country, and it’s something our guys look forward to because the fans are knowledgeable and there’s a lot of love for us over there,” Ferguson said. “It’s a great place to play volleyball, but we know that the Warriors serve well and pass well, so we need to focus on excelling in those aspects because they will direct the show.”Following the doubleheader, the Trojans come back home for three games, starting with a match against 2012 champion UC Irvine next Friday.
The baseball team hopes that its mid-week slip against Pepperdine will not derail the team from making an impact during the Pac-12 season. USC is set to travel to Eugene to meet a 14-12 Oregon team whose bats have recently come alive taking two of three games from No. 9 Cal.Though Oregon head coach George Horton is known across the country as the coach who plays “small ball” on offense — a term that typically refers to an emphasis of getting runners on base and sacrificing batters to move that runner into scoring position and across the plate. Oregon culminated the weekend series with 15 hits in a 11-5 win Sunday to improve to a 4-5 record during conference play.USC head coach Dan Hubbs says that Oregon will have to prove that they can hit the ball to score in order to defeat the Trojans, but he warns that this emergence of offense could be especially troubling when paired with Oregon’s trio of left-handed pitchers Cole Irvin, David Peterson and Matt Krook that he has been preparing his team for already in practice. Before Sunday’s game, the Ducks were batting .207 as a team, but they went 15-for-34 (.441,) Sunday against Cal, according to the Register Guard.“Eugene is notoriously a tough place to score, so we are going to have to be able to execute,” Hubbs said. “When we get a lead-off double, we are going to have to drive that guy home. We are not just going to be able to give them opportunities to score without them having to hit to score.”Despite noting that USC displayed an impressive hitting performance in their series win over Utah, Hubbs says that the offense seemed to be in a bit of “a lapse” against Pepperdine Tuesday. After winning the first two series games against Utah, the Trojans could not overcome a rocky performance from senior pitcher Kyle Davis who struggled immensely through two and one-third innings in the series finale, allowing five runs on six hits and eventually losing the game 14-8.Senior outfielder and first baseman AJ Ramirez earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors for batting .538 (7-for-13) with five RBIs and two home runs in a week when USC went 3-1. Ramirez contributed one hit or more in each of those games.USC travels to Eugene after coming off of 3-2 loss at Pepperdine Tuesday in which Hubbs labeled his team’s performance as “vanilla,” because there was neither “nothing great” nor “nothing awful” about their execution. Due to their mediocre record (15-16), Hubbs acknowledges that every loss is now amplified for the Trojans.“Every game from now on is important, and we have got to win as many of them as we can,” Hubbs said. “Every loss gets magnified because you did not play well earlier in the season.”Hubbs credits his two freshmen, pitcher CJ Stubbs and first baseman Dillon Paulson, for their impact on the game Tuesday. He noted that Stubbs pitched significantly better than he had in the previous week, hurling seven strikeouts through four innings against the Waves.Hubbs was particularly impressed with Paulson who had two hits in his two at bats and was instrumental in the Trojans’ 2 runs. In the fifth inning, Paulson had been walked and utilized a wild throw from reliever Jonathan Pendergast to advance to second, a bunt from redshirt junior shortstop Reggie Southall to get to third and an infield hit from redshirt sophomore second baseman Frankie Rios who grounded into a double play, but did give the base runner the distraction he needed to eventually cross home plate for USC’s first run of the game.Paulson contributed a second time in the seventh inning when leading off with a double before being substituted out of the game for pinch runner redshirt junior Turner Clouse, who scored thanks to another timely bunt from Southall that allowed him to take third base before a sacrifice fly from Rios brought him home.Though batters continued to strand runners on base and in scoring position after giving up the game-winning run in the bottom-seventh inning and eventually losing 3-2, Hubbs expects the team to improve against Oregon because he anticipates them to play with a greater “sense of urgency” in their fourth inter-conference series.First pitch of USC’s three-day weekend series against Oregon is at 6 p.m. Friday in Eugene. Saturday and Sunday’s game start at 2 p.m. and 12 p.m., respectively.