Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp admits his squad needs to “gain confidence and momentum again” as they struggle to get out of their current slump in form.
The Reds slipped to a sixth consecutive defeat at Anfield – the worst run in the club’s history – as they lost 1-0 to Fulham on Sunday.
At his post-match press conference, Klopp was asked about his Liverpool squad’s current mentality:
“In the game, the reaction football-wise was kind of OK. We obviously have a lot of players who stand for mentality not on the pitch in the moment, who can be like a leader in these moments and stuff like that. That’s clear. Again, I try to answer all the questions, the thing is just we got that many knocks; you can want to win a game because you won all the others before, or you want to win a game because it is a while ago that you won a game, that is more our situation. Believe me, these boys want [it] but it doesn’t work in the moment and there are some reasons for it: we don’t score goals and we concede at least one, which in the moment looks like it is enough against us. You can discuss whatever you want, obviously, I cannot just answer and say, ‘Yeah, we don’t have mentality.’ We have mentality, it’s just not the mentality we are used to probably, but the boys want to win games.
“They wanted to win this game today. I saw that. We made mistakes still, that’s the problem, but that’s not about you don’t want it – the boys don’t want to make mistakes, we just made them. We have to make sure the mistakes we make are not accountable anymore, so like you can concede a goal – we conceded goals in our best phases, the best periods of our lives, but the only thing is then you are not bothered about it. That’s where we have to come. We have really tight results in the moment, pretty much always against us, and we have to make sure we win football games again. If it’s a 1-0, it’s fine, fight for it with all you have and then you can gain confidence and momentum maybe again. In the moment we don’t have that.”
The Liverpool boss was also quizzed on whether getting players back from injury would bring an end to The Reds’ poor form:
“For winning one football game, no. For being the successful team again, for being the team we can be in the best possible way, of course, we have to be complete. More complete than we are in the moment, that’s all clear, but that’s not what we are thinking about in the moment. We really think from game to game and when you are winning then people think, ‘Why do you say that all the time?’ but that’s the only way. You have to think and to concentrate and focus on the next game and to go again. The next game is in a different competition where we didn’t too bad so far, but it will be a tough one, obviously, so we have to make sure we are ready for that. If we can go through, which is not guaranteed, then that could give confidence. Then we have Wolves, which is a tough one and then we have a couple of weeks off because of the Chelsea game and the international break and all these kind of things. We have to use that time, we have to hope all the boys who go to their national teams come back healthy, like always. Then I think there are another nine or 10 games to go, sounds like 27 or 30 points, so a lot to go for and we will try.”
Liverpool have the chance to put their Premier League nightmare behind them when they face RB Leipzig in Budapest on Wednesday night. The Reds are 2-0 up from the first game. Due to COVID-enforced travel restrictions, both legs of this tie will have been played in Hungary. Wednesday night’s match is technically Liverpool’s ‘home’ leg.
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