16 Aug Adrian ‘optimistic’ of being fit to face Southampton after freak injury
Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian is hopeful of featuring against Southampton despite bizarrely injuring his ankle after an accidental collision with a pitch invader.
Adrian marked his first start for the Reds with the decisive save from Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham in the Super Cup final penalty shootout on Wednesday, but as he celebrated with team-mates, a supporter careered into the Spaniard.
The 32-year-old summer signing is deputising for Alisson Becker, sidelined for a number of weeks because of a calf complaint, and is confident he will be fit to feature at St Mary’s on Saturday afternoon.
He told Liverpool’s official website: “I feel much better. I feel mentally ready and I also hope with the treatment of the ankle it’s going to be much better.
“But I’m very optimistic to start playing again (against Southampton).”
Videos on social media showed a fan losing his footing and sliding into a group of huddled-together Liverpool players after being grabbed by a steward.
UEFA confirmed to the PA news agency it was in contact with Liverpool over the matter, but had no further comments to make at this stage.
Adrian added: “It was a strange, weird situation because we were celebrating between us and one guy jumped from the crowd and started running.
“I think he slipped in front of us and also the security with him and made me a tackle from the side.”
The moment put a dampener on Adrian’s evening in Istanbul and led to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp issuing a plea to the club’s supporters to show some restraint when thinking about running on to the pitch.
He said: “There’s no doubt about how much we love our fans but if they could all stop doing that. We played against City, somebody was running on the pitch? And Norwich there was someone as well.
“The girl in the Champions League final made money from it, I don’t know what you can do against it.
“I like the fact that we don’t have the fences in the stadiums but that means there is a lot of responsibility for the supporters as well.
“If the one person cannot hesitate or stop himself then the people around should do it. It’s not funny. It’s crazy, you see it and you think ‘wow, how can something like this happen?’”
Alisson’s injury prompted Liverpool to sign 35-year-old Andy Lonergan on a short-term contract, the former Preston, Leeds and Bolton goalkeeper having trained with the Merseysiders over the summer.
Asked whether Lonergan would be ready to step in, Klopp responded: “Yeah. (Caoimhin) Kelleher is now in training as well, so we have them. A decision will be made tomorrow, no chance to make it earlier.”
Klopp, who will definitely be without midfielder Naby Keita against Southampton because of a muscle strain, refused to be drawn on his side’s demanding schedule, with Liverpool back in action three days after their Super Cup exertions in Turkey.
He added: “My plan when I heard about the fixtures was to win on Wednesday, to win on Saturday and to speak about it after that because if you speak about it earlier, it sounds like you’re looking for excuses. I don’t, we don’t, it’s like it is.
“Was it right that we played on Friday and Chelsea on Sunday? No. The other things we cannot change.
“We cannot change these things, we have no power, absolutely nil power. We only have to accept it like it is and that’s what we do.”