Resolute Jürgen Klopp promised to correct Liverpool’s faltering season and denied that he needed a break after a difficult time in his private and professional life.
Liverpool face RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Tuesday, knowing the competition realistically represents their final chance for silverware this season following a Premier League defeat to Leicester on Saturday. Klopp admitted that the defense of the Liverpool title was over after the 3-1 defeat, and then the focus of unfounded rumors on social media was that he left the position of manager.
Liverpool fans responded by giving support at Anfield on Sunday, putting up a banner reading “Jurgen Klopp YNWA” behind Kop, but Klopp, who last week was unable to attend his mother’s funeral in Germany due to Covid-19 restrictions, rejected talks .
“The sign is nice, but it’s not needed,” he said. “Right now I don’t feel like I need special support, but it’s nice. What were the rumors like again? Did I get the bag or did I go alone? Nor.
“I do not need a break. The last thing I want is to talk about private matters at a press conference, but everyone knows that we have gone through absolutely difficult times in private. But that wasn’t just three weeks ago, it was a much longer time. We always deal with it as a family, 100%.
“I am 53 years old. I’ve been in football for 30 years. I’m a coach already 20. I can share things. They can be disconnected, from each other. I don’t carry things around. If I’m private, I’m private. If it’s football and if it’s a job, I’m here.
“Of course I am affected by the things that are happening around me, but no one has to worry about me. I might not look like that – because the weather isn’t cold, I’m white and my chin is getting more and more gray, I don’t sleep much and my eyes look like this – but everything is fine. I’m full of energy.
“I do not want to have a situation, but the situation is an interesting challenge. No one has written a book about how you got into this situation and how you solved it. But we’ll take care of it. While we’re doing that, it might be awkward, but sort it out by playing football, sort it out so you stick together even more. Sort it by struggling with everything you have, sort by learning more than you’ve learned in any season before. That’s the plan we have. “
Liverpool are 13 points behind leaders Manchester City after a terrible string of results that include three consecutive defeats, three consecutive league defeats at Anfield and four league wins in 13 games since their Champions League group stage ended on 9 December. Klopp insists he is responsible for the decline – a claim rejected by captain Jordan Henderson – but will not change the style that has gained success in the Premier League and Champions League in recent seasons.
“I understand that many people are not happy with the results. I understand, ”he said. “I am 100% responsible for that. But we still played pretty good stuff. You can forget about it, but we can’t because it’s the beginning of a change of things. If you change the situation like we are in bad football? I’ve never heard of it.
“You need results, but we are Liverpool. We can’t sit lying down and wait like some other teams for up to 60 minutes before we cross half the line. We have to be dominant. And we will do it. I’m ready. The boys are ready. We will give absolutely everything to solve it. “
Henderson holds that Liverpool players are to blame for a series that jeopardized the champions ’chances of finishing among the top four and reinforced the importance of the last 16 games against Leipzig’s Julian Nagelsmann in form. The first match on Tuesday is played in Budapest due to travel restrictions to Germany.
“I know the manager is trying to protect us as much as possible in the press, but as players we know it’s up to us to change the situation we’re in,” Henderson said. “We take full responsibility for the results and performance. It is up to us to continue to work hard and fight to change this difficult period we are going through. “
As for rumors circulating about Klopp on social media, Henderson said: “I don’t think I should even comment on someone sitting behind the keyboard making up rumors about a manager or players in the locker room. It’s not true.
“I quite liked the one where Robbo was [Andy Robertson] and Ali [Alisson] quarreled over something. That made us laugh, but even that was just a rumor. “