These are interesting and honest comments from Liverpool’s manager Jurgen Klopp, as always.
The German has suggested that he learned many things during January’s miserable run, including some things he wished he hadn’t, admitting that because we lost in the EFL Cup semis, it would have been better to depart the competition in an earlier round.
We lost to Southampton 1-0, both home and away, meaning the Saints will play a Wembley final against Manchester United and all our good work in the earlier rounds was for nothing.
“They are all human beings and of course they are influenced by the things they see every day,” Klopp told the Echo.
“Did I learn anything new about them in the last few weeks? Yes. A lot of what I wanted to learn? No. But that’s how it is.
“I am not one bit in doubt about the character of these players but of course we have to create mentality. We had a few moments when we didn’t deliver, didn’t perform, although not too often in the Premier League, otherwise we couldn’t be where we are now.
“It feels worse because of different cup competitions. We should have been out of the EFL Cup last year, and that would have meant two less defeats this year in a moment when we needed each second for bringing a player back from injury, for recovery, for training.”
We played ten matches during January, five of which were in cup competitions we’re no longer in, so you can see Klopp’s logic – although some will criticise him for disrespecting the tournaments.
With our relatively small squad and high intensity style though, Klopp needs time on the training ground with his players. The fact he had none of this last month was definitely a factor in our failures.
Now though, there’s only 13 games left of the campaign and Klopp has his first-choice XI fit and available. We expect and hope the good performance against Spurs to replicate itself from now on.