“we are not good losers” – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp makes honest admission on his team and expects a reaction after third loss of the season
The reds boss Jurgen Klopp has admitted how his players take defeat worse than he does and so he expects a strong reaction after experiencing only their third loss of the season.
The 1-0 defeat in the Champions League round of 16 against Inter Milan at Anfield on Tuesday was offset by a 2-0 first-leg, which allowed the team progressed to their fourth quarter-final in five years.
However, it was Liverpool’s first defeat at Anfield in a year and there were muted celebrations at the final whistle.
Klopp said: “Enough. More than enough. We are not good losers.
“I have usually after a game a little speech in the dressing room, most of the time it is quite nice to tell the boys how good they were, but in this game it was slightly different
“I realised when I looked in their eyes I am in a better mood than the players when I came in and I lost as well.
“My first thought was ‘We are through against tough opponents’ and their first thought was ‘We lost’. Both is fine somehow.”
Liverpool’s first-half performance, in particular, against Inter was what disappointed Klopp the most, although they still could have won the match, Mohamed Salah hit the post twice in the second half and they missed a number of other chances.
He hopes the rare feeling of losing will give his players a wake-up call, with a Premier League trip to Brighton next on the agenda.
“I didn’t like part of the performance, especially defensively, and that’s a good point to make as if we don’t defend well against Brighton we have a problem,” he added.
“Our counter-press was not even close to what I would have expected and we got punished for it.
“Do I like losing? No. Do I like the fact that if you don’t do what the plan was then you get a knock for it then yes.
“I would have been happy with a draw – that would have been enough of a knock – but we lost.
“But we could have won with all the chances we had. It would have covered a couple of things for this game, problems that we don’t have very often but that we had in that game as we have to stop having these problems.
“We understand there is a way we cause each team in the world problems and we had better use it that way.
“Always in life reaction is important. We have to show reaction and I am pretty sure we will.”
“I believe in humans and I really believe that everybody has a specific amount of self-motivation,” he added.
“If you see other guys around you who have something similar or bigger, higher level of motivation you realise there is possibly some room for improvement.
“It is a lot about role models, we are really blessed. It is the character of the group. We don’t feel sorry for ourselves – not again, not at all.”