Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has claimed he 'made a mistake' by rushing Loris Karius into first team action earlier on in the season, but is 'really happy' with the progress shown by the German stopper since.
Karius arrived at Anfield from Mainz in the summer but his pre-season preparation was majorly disrupted when he broke his hand in a friendly against Chelsea and was subsequently ruled out of action for two months.
The 24-year-old made his league debut against Derby in the EFL Cup in September, but was heavily criticised by fans and the media for a string of poor performances and individual errors. Nevertheless, as the season progressed, Karius' performances improved and he's now established himself as Klopp's starting goalkeeper - both domestically and in Europe.
Speaking ahead of the Reds' trip to Stamford Bridge, Klopp explained to the club's official website, as quoted by THIS IS ANFIELD: “Before he broke his hand he was in outstanding shape always, the boy we signed. Then after then it was more difficult.
“It was my mistake. I changed too early that time, then he was obviously not ready physically in that moment. When a player breaks a leg you know that’s quite a hard thing; a goalkeeper breaks his hand and it’s similar, obviously.
“I underestimated that a little bit, but it’s long ago, so all good. I’m really happy with his progress. [There is] still a lot to come I’m sure,” he continued.
“Having games like he had in the last few weeks and months helps, nothing helps you more as a goalie. Having fantastic moments, not that good moments, that’s all part of development.
“He really took the chance to be honest, it was a big part of being more stable in that period. It’s cool. There’s nothing bad about Simon Mignolet, both Danny Ward and Simon are in a good shape, physically and mentally. They push hard.
“That’s good, that’s the situation. The goalkeeper side is good in the moment: all fit, all hardworking. That’s how it should be, he only plays [well] because of that.”