Friday 20 September 2019

Jurgen Klopp blames Manchester clubs for increased pressure on his faltering Liverpool side

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Mark Critchley

Jurgen Klopp has suggested that the impressive starts made by both Manchester clubs have increased the scrutiny on his Liverpool team.

After being eliminated from the League Cup at Leicester City on Tuesday night, Liverpool re-visit the King Power Stadium tomorrow looking to end a four-game run without a win.

Tuesday's defeat and the 5-0 thrashing at Manchester City, plus the frustrating home draws against Sevilla and Burnley, have led to questions being asked about Klopp and his players.

Having managed at Borussia Dortmund, Klopp is used to the pressures of coaching at a top club but he admitted that being at the helm at Anfield comes with "a little bit more" - particularly when Liverpool's Manchester rivals are playing well.

"Everywhere is the same but here a little bit more, of course," he said. "When the Manchester teams are flying, that makes it even more difficult but I cannot change this.

"What I can do is cool the situation here down and do the right things again and work on the other things. That is how it is always."

While Liverpool have enjoyed long spells of dominance in each of their last three games against Sevilla, Burnley and Leicester, having 80 attempts on goal in total, they have been unable to take advantage of such supremacy and scored only three goals.

Their opponents, meanwhile, have made a combined total of 19 shots and scored five. Klopp has issues to address at the front and the back of his team.

"It sounds like we have nil points and we are the worst team in the league," he added.

"Yes, we obviously have problems. That's why we have only eight points and not 15. That's the situation.

"We can make it more serious than it is, or we can take it like it is. Yes, we still have work to do. That would be the same if we had 15 points."

Liverpool's defensive problems may only deteriorate on their return to Leicester, with both of Klopp's first-choice central defenders doubtful.

Dejan Lovren, who has missed three of their last four games, has not trained this week because of a back problem he suffered on international duty with Croatia.

Klopp also revealed that Joel Matip and midfielder Emre Can, who has deputised at centre-half in the past, are also struggling.

"Matip and Can have also got little bits from the last game, so we have to see," he said.

Ragnar Klavan and Joe Gomez, who played in the centre of Liverpool's defence during Tuesday's defeat, are likely to retain their positions if Lovren and Matip are ruled out.

Klopp also has a decision to make about Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who had a night to forget against Leicester.

"Ox had a few really good situations and a few unlucky situations. I thought he did really well in the moments when you could see he was trying to adapt to the style of play.

"But he didn't play the best game of his life so people probably ask: 'What's the impact he can have?' But I'm not in doubt about this."

© Independent News Service

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