In a very frank and honest interview Jurgen Klopp promised Liverpool will learn from the shock of their FA Cup defeat against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday afternoon.
First-half goals from Richard Stearman and Andreas Weimann rendered Divock Origi’s late strike meaningless and sent the Reds out of the competition at the fourth-round stage.
Here is what Klopp had to say after the final whistle at Anfield.
On how disappointing the result is
Very, again. Cup games like this are always difficult [and] in our situation, after losing two games, not full of confidence, not flying through the league. We made a lot of changes, of course, most of them because we couldn’t do it differently, but a few because we wanted [to]. And the start in the game doesn’t make it easy: a free-kick after one minute, a goal, lets them fly and makes everything easier for them and everything more difficult for us. That’s why you should avoid a start like this. But then there’s still actually 93, 94, 95 minutes to go. First half, too static against a deep-defending side, too static, not fluent enough and all that stuff. It’s a little bit to explain, [the team] didn’t play too often together but could have already been better and should have been better.
Second half it was better, we could have scored a few times. They could have scored another, minimum, [with] one very big chance they had. So even [if] we [had] scored three times or four times and won 3-2, 4-2 or 4-3, it doesn’t make the performance much better. But of course it would have been nice to score these one or two goals more because it feels different. I am responsible and I feel really responsible for this performance, because I thought we could do better, obviously. We have to think about this. Not too long, but we have to think about this. You learn, always, about situations and players and all that stuff in all games. It was an important game for us today and obviously we couldn’t deliver.
On the challenge of building up confidence
We spoke about confidence a few months ago and I said it’s a little flower. If something bounces on it, then it’s away. Obviously, that happened kind of, but it’s not that we play without confidence. I can see a lot of moments when we really still believe in our skills and all that stuff. So we don’t have to make it too big, but it’s not that difficult. It’s not that I say there’s no chance until Tuesday to make a real turn. Somebody asked me a second ago if this is the lowest point of my Liverpool time until now – I don’t know. But if it is, it’s the perfect point to turn because it’s not possible to go lower. That’s all we have to think about now. It’s not that hard but it feels in this moment – and is absolutely right – bad. We have to use it. In this moment, it’s not the right time to talk too much about being positive and optimistic. No doubt from tomorrow on we will be, but in this moment we feel really bad.
On whether he felt the team let him down
No, I don’t feel that they let me down or something. I am responsible for the line-up; I saw them training and I thought ‘That’s the line-up’. At the press conference on Monday we can talk about who can play and cannot play [against Chelsea] because today not a lot of the players who were not involved could play. I said – and it’s what I mean – that I am responsible for the bad things and not just the good things, and today was obviously not good, so that’s my responsibility. We could have played better, each boy could have played better and I know this. You always learn a little bit about [the players].
For each single performance maybe there is an explanation, but I’m not sure that we should look for it. I am never too harsh in criticism and you especially should not be emotional in the moment when you make the criticism, it makes no sense. At one point I will watch the game again and then I will know a little bit more about it, but from tomorrow onwards we have to prepare for the Chelsea game. Today’s game in the detail is not too important for that – it will be in a few parts a similar game, it’s not that it’s completely different, but the opponent has the highest quality in the Premier League. It will not be an easy job, but hopefully before Tuesday, we all can recover and the crowd can recover and look forward to the game. That would really make sense – it’s a home game against the leader of the league, so we need everybody for this game. As I said, we will talk on Monday about this, but now recovery.
On his faith in young players and Liverpool’s strength in depth
I don’t think it’s the right moment, that’s how it is. Again, we played already wonderful football with this squad in the season and you can say now from a specific point on it was a little bit more difficult because injury here, injury there. But we did really well still, it was quite intense. We played a Championship team – Derby, in the EFL Cup – and they had not a percentage of a chance. It’s not years ago, it’s only a few weeks ago you saw them play [like this]. Of course, it’s like having a flow and having not the flow but it’s not right to judge people in a very bad moment. How I said, [it’s] my responsibility and you can’t today have faith and [not] tomorrow.
Mentioning the transfer window
We spoke about the transfer window – it’s not about not wanting, it’s about not getting the right players. For this, we have to go through situations like this. Probably in the history of Liverpool, better sides lost against worse sides, that’s football. I don’t like it, but it’s true. I don’t start doubting decisions because it makes no sense. We know what we have to change, only we have to show it. We are on it, we know about it and we will work on it but I cannot explain every single thing of today, of course not. Don’t look for excuses: whatever you write is absolutely OK, what you say is absolutely OK. I cannot change after a worse or better performance and say, ‘Now he is world-class’ or ‘Now we cannot use him’. It is my responsibility to pick them in the right moment as often as I can. Sometimes I have the free chance, sometimes I have to, but it’s still my responsibility.
Many thanks to LiverpoolFC.com for the interview transcript