Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted his side can cope with the loss of injured forward Sadio Mane, who will miss the rest of the Premier League season.
Mane will sit out the remainder of the campaign due to a knee injury, which requires surgery following an awkward tangle with Leighton Baines during last week’s Merseyside derby victory over Everton, Sports Opera reports.
The news has come as a blow to Liverpool’s top-four hopes, having watched Mane scored 13 goals and add five assists in 27 appearances.
However, Klopp believes Liverpool have shown they are capable of performing in the Senegal international’s absence – pointing to the chances created without Mane in the 2-2 draw with Bournemouth.
“I know everyone was talking before about how we miss Sadio Mane and we do miss Sadio Mane but he doesn’t help us too much in defending and we created enough chances to have scored more,” Klopp said ahead of today’s trip to Stoke City.
“Again, around the second goal, Sadio would not have been too much involved in defending so the influence of missing Sadio was not too big.
“That’s why it felt like it did at the end. It could have been good. It could have been the perfect game in terms of the result, a bad start, coming back at this stage of the season with a sick Phil [Coutinho] and a tired Roberto [Firminio], all that stuff.
“It could have been the perfect result but unfortunately between perfect and difficult to accept – sometimes it is only a second. That’s how it was in this game.”