‘NEVER HAS MY TEAM HEARD THAT’ – Jurgen Klopp sends brutal message to Liverpool squad

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has questioned the ‘players’ stomach for the fight after Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat at Everton, but admitted it is his responsibility to change the atmosphere around the club for the Premier League run-in.

The Reds slipped to a damaging defeat at Goodison Park, with the Blues’ first home Merseyside derby win since 2010 leaving Klopp’s side in need of collapses from both Arsenal and Manchester City for the final four fixtures of the campaign to stand a chance of winning the title.

Klopp admitted it was down to him to force a response ahead of Saturday’s lunchtime visit to West Ham United but was left surprised by the lack of battling qualities from his team during the miserable reverse to Sean Dyche’s Toffees.

“I do [feel responsible] it’s difficult [to explain.] It’s really strange but I hated our game,” Klopp said. “We were not even close to what we want to be, I never understood it like that where I just sit there and [think] ‘well he does not want it, or he doesn’t want it’ because I know they want it.

“So it is my job to make sure that they can. I don’t know exactly but somehow it happened that we didn’t see the positivity in the situation any more that we are where we are, a good starting point so let’s go, let’s chase the others bang. But you can only chase in a positive way. You don’t have to defend anything.

“And you saw the game. It wasn’t the first [below par] one but it was the worst one. Crystal Place wasn’t even close [to be being as bad]. The second half against Palace, they don’t know how they got a point.

“That [performance] was very positive but we put ourselves under pressure by being 1-0 down and anyway we had to chase the game, it was not 1-0, then 2-0 and now let’s go from there and stuff like this but it would be possible if we had made a few better decisions.

“And that is what I really see. I see two teams [Arsenal and City] who play really positive football and go for it. And we can do that but we don’t at this moment and who can I make responsible for that. It is not about individuals – ‘you and you and you’ – that doesn’t make sense.

“It’s my job until the last day to make sure that the boys feel that. For me, I can give the safety net to do that, but nothing happens…and oooffff, here we go.

“And again the game was just horrible to watch. In Germany when the crowd is not happy with the team and they think they are not fighting enough they sing a song ‘Wir wollen euch kampfen sehen’ – that translates into ‘we want to see you fight.’

“I was close to singing that myself. Never has one of my teams heard that ever. Never. I never heard them say my team didn’t fight because my team [always] went for it. And now…wow, how can that happen?

“And again, easy question, who could be responsible for it? I don’t put myself into the ground That is how I understand the job. And that is what I try to do all the time. Sometimes it works out and this time for whatever reason it didn’t but I will try it again.”

On the concession of Jarrad Branthwaite’s scrambled opener in the derby, Klopp added:

“We found a way to concede a goal and the goal was a joke. We kicked the ball at each other and then he is free in the box. Please!

“And it is just when you are not yourself. We could have shot over the stand five times and in the end it is Branthwaite miss-hits the ball and it rolls in. You can laugh about it but it was incredible.

“Before that the first attack by Everton was a penalty but it was offside. But it was the first time, until then we just played. And it was fine and then they scored and you go ‘wow’ things go against us. We made mistakes before in other seasons. It is not always that you concede in the first situations, that is not always the case. So you have to fight against that.

“But much more important is that you create – and we spoke a lot about that – a basis for the majority of the season until the finishing line is in sight and then it’s ‘let’s go for it’ and that should be the most positive thing. And we did that in the past, winning all the games [in the run-in] and now we can’t do it.

“Again for a variety of reasons. We had injuries to four players who never had injuries like that before. Coming back, playing well, but it is not consistent that we can go ‘next one, next one, next one getting better.’ so that for sure is a problem.

“The boys also had a crazy schedule. And this [four-game] schedule now, finishing with tomorrow’s game, is absolute madness, we all know that: Thursday, Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday is crazy.

“But we don’t go for easy excuses. We think, the boys do as well, that we should do better. And now we have to find a line-up, a way to do much better at West Ham. And if we can can do much better at West Ham than that last game then immediately we should be good enough to play a better game, a better game can be a really good game, and then we can beat West Ham – but only then.”



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