Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits the 1-0 Premier League defeat to Fulham was not good enough and accepts the team do not have “the mentality we are used to”.
The game was decided by Mario Lemina’s first goal for the club just before half-time, inflicting a sixth-successive home defeat for Klopp’s side, who have gone more than 11 hours without a goal from open play at Anfield.
Liverpool, who led the Premier League at Christmas, are seeing their top-four hopes rapidly disappear and Klopp said the confidence of his squad had been affected by results and injuries.
"It was not good enough."— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 7, 2021
The boss reacts to today's performance 👇 #LIVFUL
“Not good enough. Conceded a goal, didn’t score, lost the game,” was his blunt assessment having made seven changes for the match.
“We started OK. We had some moments but didn’t use them. They had their moments behind our last line.
“We conceded a goal in the moment we didn’t expect it just before half-time.
“We got used to each other and played some good stuff, created chances, didn’t score and the longer the game goes on in our situation it is not that you get stronger, it gets lesser and that it how it was.”
Fulham midfielder Harrison Reed suggested the visitors “wanted it more” then the defending champions and, while Klopp could not agree with that, he knows the rapidly-dwindling confidence is becoming a concern.
“I understand. The winner is always right. I don’t see that problem. My boys wanted to win games,” he added.
“The reaction football-wise was kind of OK. There are a lot of players who are not on the pitch who can’t be a leader in this moment. That is clear.
“We can’t win the game because we won all the games before or because you want to win a game.
“Believe me these boys want to, that it doesn’t work at the moment, that we don’t score goals and concede one is enough at the moment.
“We don’t have the mentality we are used to but the boys want to win games and I saw that today. We still made mistakes and that’s the problem.
“We have to make sure the mistakes we make are not accountable. We have to make sure we win a game again. If it is 1-0 that is fine.
“It (the top four) is really not my concern at the moment. I cannot think about that. We have to win a football game. We have to win one football game, that would be helpful already.”
Fulham have lost just once in the last seven and are now only in the bottom three by virtue of having a goal difference three worse than Brighton.
Manager Scott Parker hailed the “massive result” at Anfield but insisted they were not getting distracted by their situation in the table.
“Immensely proud. A big performance today. A massive result,” he said.
“The front-foot attacking side I want us to be was there and we got our noses in front with some good skill from Mario.
“You understand coming to a place like Anfield and the quality they possess you are going to have to be organised and disciplined.
“A win like this galvanises, not that we needed it or a result to give us belief or an understanding of what we can do as it’s constantly been there.
“What is happening around us, who we are dragging in is irrelevant and remains to be the case.
“It is about us wanting to get better and keep moving in the right direction and that will not change.
“The new focus was to come here and get a result and cause Liverpool problems.
“I thought we did that, certainly first half. While results can give you that extra bit of belief, this is a team which has real belief.
“We will carry on for the remainder of the season in the same vein.”