Jurgen Klopp has dismissed claims that Liverpool need a ‘major overhaul’ after they lost their fourth Premier League game of the season to Leeds at Anfield.
The visitors took the lead after a horrible mix-up between Alisson Becker and Joe Gomez but Mo Salah pulled the FA Cup champions level 10 minutes later.
And after a late Crysencio Summerville strike handed Jesse March’s side a much needed three points, the Reds boss admitted he doesn’t have an explanation for his side’s lacklustre performance.
“It is not always that difficult or impossible [to control games] but tonight it was,” Klopp said (as quoted by the Liverpool Echo). “There is no excuse for it but we have the problem from the first day of injuries or half-fit players and that is what we carry with us and that is why some players play too often and others have to play too early and the next game is already waiting.
“Napoli now, some say we’re already through, but we will need to put in a proper performance. But you need 11 starters and then a few days later we play away at Tottenham. That’s our situation.
“So now is not the time for a major overhaul. We have to fight through and to fight for momentum, for confidence, for security, for all these things. You have to fight and that is what we do.
“I would have taken a point tonight, nobody would have been happy but me when you see the game and how we conceded first, but my main issue is how we defended the second goal. When you don’t have the ball, everyone has to defend, and we were not all there.
“There might be an explanation for it which I don’t have at this moment, but that was my problem at the moment, but it happened anyway.”
Liverpool were second to most balls all night and the Elland Road outfit showed more fight as we lost out first home game in the league for 18 months.
Darwin Nunez had a number of chances to put the Merseysiders ahead but failed to beat a spirited Ilian Meslier while Salah and Firmino all went close.
We never really looked in control, though, and that is the concerning thing with us now sat ninth in the table – eight points behind Newcastle in the final Champions League spot.
Klopp admitted that all of his players ‘can play better football’ as he tried to dissect his side’s concerning showing.
“It is difficult but not impossible [to control the game],” the former Borussia Dortmund boss added. “The boys really want to, so that means we speed up with the ball, an example was Robbo goes on the outside, then goes inside, but has no option to play it and then loses the challenges twice. Then it’s a counter attack. How often do we see Robbo doing that and he has different options? He can [usually] pass the ball inside and all these kinds of things but there was nobody today.
“In these moments we show we really want it but we have to play smarter against a compact formation that Leeds obviously have. You have to be calm in moments, I know that sounds really ridiculous when you want to score goals, but in football it’s like this and you have to change the rhythm in these moments.
“We didn’t do that well enough in the moment and then that leads to situations where we lose the ball again and that means space for a counter-attack or whatever and it doesn’t look good. That means you cannot get a real momentum in the game. And it doesn’t feel right. That’s what I wanted to say.
“It is a mix of everything of course. It is no secret that pretty much everybody on the pitch can play better football. There’s no doubt about that. You have to do the simple stuff right and then you gain confidence and momentum. We had that in different games but today we couldn’t get it and that is what I mean.”