Jurgen Klopp drops a swear word in staunch defence of Liverpool against Reds’ critics

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If Jurgen Klopp has a swear jar at home, he’d have been topping it up after one exclamation in Friday’s press conference ahead of the Manchester City game today.

While the last Premier League iteration of this fixture almost exactly a year ago pitted two heavyweight title contenders against each other, this afternoon’s clash at the Etihad Stadium sees sixth visit second.

The Reds need to claw back a seven-point gap to Tottenham in fourth just to salvage Champions League football for next season, having lost eight top-flight matches already this term, with relegation-threatened Wolves, Leeds, Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth having all beaten them.

However, Klopp was keen to dismiss any notion that Liverpool have become a bad team off the back of one campaign after several years of either challenging for, or winning, some of the biggest prizes in club football.

As per Liverpool Echo, he defiantly stated of the Reds’ season so far: “An anomaly, yeah. But in the end I would prefer it would be 12 points then we were still in the Champions League spot, but it would still be 12 points to City. We are 100% guilty for everything but things happened like they happened.

“We had injuries, wow, and of course it’s completely normal for people to say ‘that’s not good enough, and here’s not good enough and there’s not good enough’ and all these kind of things, but that’s b******s because (of what happened) years before. It doesn’t change overnight, you don’t lose all our brains and fitness and medical (department).

“Things happen and then you have to react, but when you are a little bit unlucky in this direction then it’s really difficult and the league is running away at that moment. That is where we were.”

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It’s understandable why Klopp would bristle at suggestions that his Liverpool have become a mediocre team.

The manager himself concedes that the Reds have fallen well short of expectations this season, but that owes more to a lack of the consistency we’ve seen in recent years rather than any notion of the players becoming poor footballers overnight.

At their best, the Merseysiders are still a formidable outfit, as witnessed in spectacular fashion with that 7-0 drubbing of a Manchester United side who had been in flying form before their visit to Anfield just under a month ago.

Liverpool have also beaten Manchester City twice this term, with a chance to inflict another defeat on Pep Guardiola’s side today, and won away to Tottenham and Newcastle, the two teams immediately above them in the table.

In the Champions League group stage, they finished level on points with a Napoli side who many are now touting as potential winners of the whole competition.

The Reds may be having a poor season, but they’re certainly not a poor team, and this afternoon’s trip to the Etihad represents another opportunity for them to make a big statement and back up Klopp’s R-rated exclamation.

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