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Coutinho Looks for Silver Lining in Brazil Snub

Being left out of the Brazil squad may not have been ideal for Philippe Coutinho, but he's trying to see a silver lining in getting more time to work with his teammates and new manager.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

News that Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho weren't chosen to represent Brazil in November came as a surprise to many fans and won't have been taken well by either player. For a Liverpool side still adjusting to life under Jürgen Klopp and suffering through an injury crisis, though, it will have been a positive.

Liverpool's Brazilian duo will remain at Melwood, training with the new manager ahead of a return to action against league leaders Manchester City on the 21st. Coutinho at least is trying to see the silver lining in not being selected, as he believes it will give him more time to develop partnerships with teammates both new and old.

"I have to adapt to them, but it's not only me who must do this," Coutinho told the club's magazine this week. "When you get new players, especially strikers, it is the job of all of the team to give them the service they need. I have to learn whether it is right to play a fast ball or a pass along the ground, depending on who I am playing the ball to.

"The training sessions are very, very important for this adaptation process to happen. We work on this every day in training and the sessions are very intense. If we're not doing it right, or something isn't working, we do it again and again until we get it right. The more you train with your teammates, the more you learn about each other."

With Liverpool leading the injury table in England and many of those left fit called up to play for their national teams, there aren't a lot of first team teammates at Melwood for Coutinho to work with. Still, there is the chance to work with the few still around, and also to work with the new manager during the first extended break since his arrival.

That will likely entail more work on quick passing and Liverpool's transition play, with one of Klopp's goals being to get his side able to move from defence to attack in an instant and catch the opposition out before they can gain their shape. It will also mean continuing to work on the high press that defined Klopp's Dortmund side over the year.

"We press high with the intention of trying to make the other team lose the ball close to their goal," Coutinho added. "If we do it right and win the ball back in these areas, it gives us a better chance. The most important thing is it is imperative for the team to press together. This is what we have been trying to do and this is how we are developing."

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