Sunday 15 September 2019

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool lack belief after first defeat as Reds boss

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has called for his players to give fans something to stay for
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has called for his players to give fans something to stay for

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits his side have to instil greater belief in themselves and the fans as he thinks their first defeat of his reign highlighted one of the team's continuing problems.

Scott Dann scored an 82nd-minute header in Crystal Palace's 2-1 win after Philippe Coutinho's third goal in two matches had cancelled out Yannick Bolasie's opener.

But for Klopp the sight of fans streaming for the exit with 10 minutes to go should act as wake-up call for the players.

He believes supporters were leaving because they did not think the result would change and he thrust the responsibility on to his players to ensure they alter that perception.

"Eighty-two minutes - game over," said the German, who after his first game at home against Southampton last month said the team accepted they could not change the outcome after the visitors' 84th-minute equaliser.

"I turned around and I felt pretty alone at this moment but I am not disappointed about this (fans leaving) - they have reasons.

"But we are responsible that nobody can leave the stadium a minute before the last whistle because everything can happen.

"Between 82 and 94 (there were four minutes of added time) you can make eight goals, if you want but you have to work for it.

"That is what we have to show and we didn't, and things are like they are.

"We decide when it is over."

Klopp suggested the team's Europa League exploits - the squad did not arrive back from the victory over Rubin Kazan until 4am on Friday - had possibly given some an excuse for a slow start and a weak finish.

He found that unacceptable.

"This is not the first time I lose a game you don't have to lose," he added.

"With our start we opened the door a little bit for Palace, and we were asking for this goal and we got it (when Bolasie scored).

"Between the good game against Rubin Kazan and today there was only one thing to talk about - is it too much playing?

"Once again I decide if I am tired, nobody else.

"Big decisions are made in moments when you feel tired. It is always when you are under stress.

"If everyone thinks we gave everything we had then it is wrong. Of course we could do more.

"Maybe not more running but to be more awake from the beginning, to be more clear."

As if the defeat was not bad enough defender Mamadou Sakho left Anfield on crutches with his right knee in a brace after landing awkwardly and will have a scan on Monday to determine the damage.

"I don't want to speculate now but we have to hope it is not too serious. That was the worse thing," said Klopp.

"I would prefer to lose 4-1 and keep him in the team but it was the situation and now we have to see."

Palace boss Alan Pardew thoroughly enjoyed the game but admits scoring after 21 minutes caused them more issues than he wanted.

"I thought it was terrific Premier League game. We made a conscious decision to take the game to Liverpool to see if we could catch them sleepy as they had a tough game on Thursday," he said.

"We got a goal and there was our problem really because then we backed off and let Liverpool start to dominate us and for 15-20 minutes it wasn't really the game-plan.

"Half-time was important for us and it was a great game second half, end-to-end and our ambition was rewarded in terms of the late goal.

"His (Dann) goal sums him up. You could see he was going to win that ball, no-one was going to stop him and he defends like that.

"I really think he has been under-estimated throughout his career and I wouldn't have said that until I managed him.

"Now I manage him I realise how good he is. He can be really proud of his performance. He was superb in everything he did."

PA Media

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