Saturday 23 February 2019

'We have to learn and adapt to a lot of situations' - Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool must cope with front-running

The pressure is on Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp as the title race heats up. (Adam Davy/PA Images)
The pressure is on Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp as the title race heats up. (Adam Davy/PA Images)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp declared he is his own biggest critic, as his side returned to the top of the Premier League after a convincing 3-0 win against Bournemouth at Anfield.

Goals from Sadio Mane, Georginio Wijnaldum and Mohamed Salah allowed Liverpool to bounce back from draws against Leicester and West Ham, as Klopp admitted they needed a response to banish the notion they were cracking under the pressure of a tense title battle with Manchester City.

"We are very self-critical and it was clear we were not happy with the two performances," he said of the 1-1 draws against Leicester and West Ham.

"There were always reasons for it. We cannot speak too much about that in public because it sounds like we’re going for excuses. We are not, but the analysis must be sensible, you have to talk about the right things with the boys and we did that.

"We knew about our situation and we knew we were not happy with our performance in the last two or three games. Still you can win a game or draw it because of different reasons – but we don’t want to come through somehow in the game.

"We want to play convincing football, we want to perform. That was the reaction we wanted to show today, for us. The boys did that in an outstanding manner and so I’m really happy.

"We have to learn a lot and we have to adapt to a lot of situations. It’s not a big problem having three, five or seven points in the lead. It’s not a big thing, but we have to learn.

"For us, it’s only important what we think and what we can make better and what we have to improve. That was a very good sign today. We wanted to show a reaction today – that was obvious. We did that.

"In moments when you don’t get a result, people doubt that immediately. It’s the world, it’s predictable, but it’s still not true. We can always use the character and attitude of the boys, that’s what we did today. Combined with their outstanding football skills, we can win football games and we will win football games. How many, we will see, but we will try everything."

Klopp revealed Wijnaldum was a big doubt for the game against Bournemouth as he was too sick to link up with the first team squad until the morning of the game, with the celebrations for his goal causing some concern.

"Gini didn't sleep in the team hotel last night. He had diarrhoea and vomiting, so he couldn't come to the team hotel," added Klopp. "To play like that when he was so sick was amazing.

"After another couple of hours’ sleep he said he felt really good and he thought he could play but the doc said he is still infectious, so stay away. So I was only concerned today when he scored a goal and everybody gave him a hug, to be honest!

"Gini, it was obvious he was very, very good today. That’s how the boys are and that’s brilliant, absolutely brilliant."

Klopp will now take his players to Spain for some warm weather training ahead of their Champions League clash against Bayern Munich in 10 days time.

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