Jota 'incredible' when he is 'angry' - Liverpool coach

Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders has said that forward Diogo Jota, whose form in front of goal is helping the team cope in the absence of Mohamed Salah, is "incredible" when he is "in an angry mood."

The 27-year-old has scored two goals and registered two assists since Salah left to represent Egypt at the Africa Cup of Nations at the beginning of January.

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Lijnders compared Jota's ability to step up in Salah's absence to former Liverpool forwards Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino, the three of whom combined to form one of the most formidable attacking trios in Premier League history.

"Jota, I never judge just on goals but it is a sign of the squad and the character," Lijnders said. When Jota is in this angry mood when he wants to run against the world he can do things that are incredible.

"We have to get him in this mood as often as possible. It is never that you can rely [on just a few]. If Mo [Salah] played well, Sadio [Mané] didn't and then Bobby [Firmino] did when the other two were not. So it is about being confident."

Fellow Liverpool forward Darwin Núñez has also performed well in recent weeks, scoring a brace against Bournemouth on Sunday.

"Darwin as well. It's a sign of a good squad. A sign of the character and ambition of the players we have. When Jota is in an angry mood he can be dangerous. We have to get him in this mood as often as possible!"

Jürgen Klopp's assistant also talked up Curtis Jones' chance of making Gareth Southgate's next England squad following the 22-year-old's impressive displays at the heart of the Liverpool midfield.

"Curtis Jones for England? A no-brainer. You have eyes, no? You [Jones] are one of the most decisive players for the team who is top [of the Premier League table]" Lijnders said.

"A player who sets the tone with and without the ball and always shows up. Some small niggles with a lot of games but he is young and acts like a senior."

Lijnders also confirmed that right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold is in line to return to the team against Norwich City on Jan. 28, and revealed that left-back Andy Robertson will be in the squad for the Carabao Cup second leg game against Fulham on Wednesday after recovering from the shoulder injury he suffered while playing for Scotland against Spain in October.

"Trent is now two weeks [out], team training by the end of the week, hopefully [he will] be ready for FA Cup, Dominik [Szoboszlai] will be ready for FA Cup if everything is smooth.

"Robertson is 13 weeks out, he can train with the team and make contact, that is really cool. He is pushing himself into the squad, which is nice because he is one of our captains. We speak about Robbo, we have to speak about Joe Gomez, what he is doing this season... Probably our most consistent player. I am really happy for him and it shows so much about our squad."