Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has told his players there is no room for self-pity in a disappointing season that has had its fair share of disappointments but is still halfway there.
After last weekend’s extra-time defeat to Brighton ended their FA Cup defence, Klopp highlighted the body language of some of his players, while substitute captain Andy Robertson admitted the campaign had deteriorated. since the World Cup break.
Some players look terribly short of form – Fabinho’s disastrous late cameo at the Amex is a case in point – but with the team 10 points behind fourth place, albeit with one match to go, Klopp can’t afford any. of their injured. start to feel sorry for themselves.
“Self-pity is not allowed right now. We are human beings and we know those moments when you think ‘My God, everything is working against me,’” he said.
“There is only one person who can really change that and that is yourself. These kinds of things can and will happen in the future too, but it’s about limiting the time to get back to normal.”
While Klopp was unable to adequately explain why the likes of Fabinho and captain Jordan Henderson – both of whom fell to the bench in recent matches when a revamped midfield and, to a lesser extent, Mohamed Salah – have tested with some success, have struggled for form, He knows that the situation can be reversed.
And he pointed to the recent resurgence of Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford this season after more than 18 months in the wild as an example.
“We all see that some players didn’t quite reach the level they reached for us consistently for four or five or six years. That’s not unusual, it happens to other players too,” Klopp added before the trip to face Wolves for the third time in 29 days.
“One of the best examples in history will probably be Marcus Rashford. The season he had last year and the season he has this year, I’m not sure I can really explain it.
“Erik ten Hag comes in, new guys, different approach of course (makes a difference) but it’s not that Marcus didn’t want to deliver last year. He now he is flying. This is how he goes.
“The times between these two extremes we have to use and go through and fight to overcome.
“Team performances are obviously a summary of individual performances, but the other way around also works: individual performances are massively influenced by team performance.
“That doesn’t change the opinion about the players in general, but you have to make decisions at the moment for the lineup, and that’s maybe a bit of a bigger problem for the coach because when you realize it’s not just a little downturn. and it goes longer, do we have alternatives?
“For the player it is a situation that he will face during a long career. Not just once, but probably two or three times.
“You have to get through this and the players I know, my players, will go through it and show how good they are again.”
On Fabinho specifically, Klopp said: “We have no arguments on the pitch or in the training ground. He knows that he is not flying and he has to work to get back. Right now he’s not clicking.”
Liverpool have not been helped by early injuries, the latest to Ibrahima Konate (hamstring), meaning Klopp will have to form another centre-back pairing with Joe Gomez and Joel Matip, who hasn’t featured in the last three games. .
“It is a muscular injury. Again, he didn’t think it was massive, it happened in the game, I asked him after the game, ‘Are you okay?’ and he said: ‘Yeah, I’m fine,’” Klopp said in Konate.
“After the game: treatment, scan, ‘bam’. Outside. It’s not cool all the changes, you don’t want to have that. You want to make them when you rotate and put them together when they are all in perfect timing.
“But Joey and Joel played together before, so it’s not a big deal, but it’s not perfect, that’s for sure.”