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13th Dec, 2016 | 3:57pm

Jens Lehmann explains how Klopp should handle under-fire Liverpool ace

By Dominic Toner

Ex-Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann believes that Liverpool manger Jurgen Klopp should stick with Loris Karius despite his recent criticism.

The Reds goalkeeper Karius has come under severe pressure after costly mistakes against Bournemouth and West Ham, with Sky Sports pundits Jamie Carragher, Phil and Gary Neville voicing their concerns.

Klopp has recently defended Karius after his public criticism and could start the goalkeeper against Middlesbrough on Wednesday in the Premier League.

The 23-year-old is yet to settle at Anfield since his summer arrival from German club Mainz and his team-mate Simon Mignolet will be desperate to replace him in goal.

Arsenal great Lehmann was one of the best performing goalkeepers in the Premier League during his playing career and he claims that Klopp must stand by his under-fire shot stopper Karius.

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“Technically he is not yet perfect but who is at that age? It is about development and Jurgen Klopp knows what he is doing,” Lehmann told talkSPORT. “Of course, he has to back him now because if he drops him or if he doesn’t back him it will have a major impact on Karius’ self confidence.

“At the end of the day, you see how strong players are. That bit of anger inside of him, he should perform a little bit better.”

Liverpool are trying to compete for the Premier League crown this season and fans are concerned that they are too defensively vulnerable to challenge.

Karius has shown glimpses of his ability this season, but there are concerns about his handling from crosses and shots.

Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea is a great example of a player who takes time to settle in English football, with the Spaniard becoming arguably the best player in the Premier League after his shaky start at Old Trafford.

Karius will be desperate to prove his critics wrong in the upcoming weeks and Liverpool still have to face Boro, Everton, Stoke and Manchester City in December.

The youngster has made 11 appearances so far for the Merseyside club and kept four clean sheets.

In other Liverpool news, Mark Lawrenson has predicted the outcome of the match against Middlesbrough.