Football, Rugby, UFC, GAA
All free when you join eir Broadband
Christian Benteke is not in the “easiest period of his career,” but Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp feels it is up to the player to transform his fortunes.
Benteke is Liverpool's leading goalscorer this season with seven goals but he has not found the back of the net since the win over Sunderland in December and his lack of confidence has resulted in him missing several chances in recent games.
Klopp is doing all he can to help the striker but he believes the onus is now on has spoken to the striker about the situation but the Germand believes Benteke must take responsibility for his poor form.
"I can do a lot of things but at the end - and it is not only with Christian - the last important help comes from the player himself,” said Klopp.
The manager was encouraged by Benteke's performance in Liverpool's FA Cup replay defeat at West Ham and is hopeful he will continue to improve.
"I saw really good signs at West Ham. It is not the easiest period of his career but the number of opportunities is a good sign, if he had no opportunities it would be a much bigger problem but it is not too easy," he added.
"You cannot hide yourself. I talked to him a few times and gave him some advice as a human being and a coach and he has really tried to come back to an easy moment.
"Strikers who do not score goals for a longer period it is more interesting than if someone else does not score enough. There are worse situations in the world - even in the world of football - so we have to carry on and he has to carry on."
Benteke scored 49 goals in 101 appearances for Aston Villa but he is unlikely to start when Liverpool travel to Villa Park on Sunday.
"I have not the best experience with players coming back to former clubs, it is usually they make more pressure for themselves because they want to make more pressure,” said Klopp.
"I don't know the history with Christian and Aston Villa so I don't know whether they will welcome him with open arms or whistles but that is not too interesting for me.
"It is not an issue for me to make a decision. It is professional football in a year and it is only one game a year going to your former club.
"There are no final decisions for the line-up and I don't hope too often before a game 'Come on, maybe this is the game when it will change'. It is about work and circumstances and we will see what line-up we will choose but it is not because of personal histories with this club."