We find this revealing and pleasing in equal measure.
Jurgen Klopp told his players off following the 0-0 draw with Southampton, but not because we failed to finish some easy chances and retain our spot at the top of the Premier League.
Instead, Liverpool’s manager was disappointed with the ‘sombre’ attitude he saw in the changing room and told the squad in no uncertain terms that they should be encouraged by the performance and that remaining positive and unified is essential.
He wanted to see a face full of happy players, desperate to get back on the field next week and find the back of the net. He wanted his players to recognise the good things they’d done in the game, such as defend superbly and dominate possession.
This is according to respected Liverpool correspondent Paul Joyce, who now works for the Times.
Firstly, the fact the players were initially disappointed shows how far we’ve come in a short space of time. We lost away to Southampton last season, conceded three and were defensively shambolic. This time they didn’t have a single shot on goal and midfielder Pierre-Emile Højbjerg said we were the best team he’s ever faced, including Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund (via Sky Sports).
Secondly, it’s fantastic that Klopp can separate result from performance in an attempt to keep his players motivated and driven. There’s no doubt we’ll train hard all week in preparation for Saturday’s Sunderland clash and the feel-good factor will still very much be in place at Anfield – for the team and the crowd.
We’re already counting down the days…