Defeats to Nottingham Forest and Leeds have left Liverpool 15 points off league leaders Arsenal in the Premier League.

Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp has hit back against suggestions that his team has reached the end of its lifespan and insists judgement should be reserved until the end of the current campaign.

Defeats to Nottingham Forest and Leeds have left Liverpool 15 points off league leaders Arsenal in the Premier League.

The Anfield outfit have slipped to four defeats in the league, taking only two points from matches against Forest, Leeds, Everton, Crystal Palace, Fulham and Brighton, however, Klopp insists it is too early to write off his side.

“If you say, ‘that’s it’, for this group of players or for this manager I don’t think that’s 100% fair in this moment, to judge the team or the squad, because we never had them available.

“We miss players, especially now up front, we miss top quality which is not helpful.

“Even if it’s unfair, it’s fine. It’s normal, it’s our life and it’s absolutely fair to ask these questions. But we have to answer that later on.”

Leeds nightmares

The Reds’ first top-flight home defeat in 30 games follows last week’s loss at bottom-of-the-table Forest and further deepens the crisis around the struggling Merseyside club, who are ninth in the table on 16 points after 12 games.

Klopp admitted Leeds’ late winner on Saturday had him waking up at night, however, he insists he is able to handle the pressure of his most frustrating spell at Anfield.

“I didn’t read anything but everything will be judged on me and that is absolutely fine,” he added.

“People will look at me and say ‘He looks tired’. That’s normal as well but I am not. I am not. I cannot give that excuse. (People say) ‘It’s so much for me..’ – it’s not.

“My job is not only being here in the moment when the sun is shining and someone gives us a trophy, my job is as well to be here when we have to go through a really tough period and I will do that with all I have and, if possible, more.

“It is a rough moment, no doubt about that, and no one is flying here and (thinking) life is great but there is only one chance to face it: go for it and that’s what we will do.”

Klopp wants ‘fight’ against Napoli

Napoli have advanced to the last 16 and Klopp was asked what he wanted to see from his side against the Italians. “Fight. You think I want to see we start passing around them with backheels and bicycle kicks and these kind of things? Of course not.

“You lose a game and people tell you you didn’t try hard enough. You can fight in different ways.

“The fighting spirit is not our problem at this moment. This group in that aspect did not change and will not change but all of a sudden everybody thinks you are not trying hard enough.

“That’s the life we live. That’s completely normal.”

The German tactician admits a lack of form helps give opposition teams a greater chance of beating the Reds on Merseyside.

“None of them will come here and just say ‘Liverpool are in a difficult moment, let’s give them an easy run’,” he added.

“It’s actually the opposite, they all smell the chance and that is what they want to use. That is our situation.”


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