There will be changes against Tottenham Hotspur in the EFL Cup as Jürgen Klopp looks to give a few first-team players a rest despite the arrival of a difficult opponent. Danny Ings will be one of those hoping for a chance and has been in fine form for the under-23 side.
Ings has become something of a potential cult hero for Liverpool fans given his surprisingly impressive start to his career on Merseyside last season combined with a work ethic and attitude that's extremely endearing. His injury last season came at the worst possible time—Klopp's first training session—to impress the new manager but managed to make an impression with his professional approach to his recovery.
Ings has recovered from injury but isn't in the first-team picture for different reasons compared to a year ago. The 24-year-old has, however, continued to show that he will continue to do his very best to improve himself and earn the respect of the manager.
"It’s really good,” Klopp said on Ings' reaction to a lack of first-team football. "If I was being a little less sensitive I could say that is his job to do, but I am sensitive and I know it is not easy. He takes the situation in a perfect way but it’s all for him.It was a long-term injury, but now he is fit, he plays in the U23s, everything is good.
"It is all for his career. With his attitude everything will be good in the end. In this moment, the situation is not easy, we have Roberto, Daniel and Divock so there is not a lot of space (in the squad) for the few minutes you could give.
"You have to build a squad for different things to do and not just have a third or fourth striker on the bench. He has used the game time. All I can say is that he will be involved in the squad 100% and with the rest we have to see."
The problem for Ings is that both Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge would benefit from minutes against Tottenham on Tuesday at Anfield. Yet Ings missed the mini-derby over the weekend for the under-23s, indicating that he's almost certain to feature. The pressing and hard running favoured by Klopp should suit an attacker with more quality than many thought.
What Klopp did make clear is that featuring in the squad and securing a spot in the team is a difficult task even for good players—a consequence of the improvement at the club.
"A lot," Klopp added. "As a manager, you have about 25 players so you cannot talk about the individual situation every day. I think we are completely clear about the way and the things he needs to do. He is a nice guy and a wonderful player.
"That’s a sign of the strength of the squad. You can be a really good player and you cannot even be in the squad. That is really possible and a sign for the strength of LFC."