Jürgen Klopp has demanded more effort and passion from his Liverpool players after “getting things off my chest” during a lengthy inquest into their poor start.
The Liverpool manager convened a meeting with his squad on Wednesday in response to Monday’s 2-1 defeat at Manchester United – they had the day off on Tuesday – and admits it was a one-way conversation. He believes Liverpool must react on Saturday at home to Bournemouth, in a game he described as “the first proper fightback early in the season”.
Klopp said: “There was no discussion. I was getting things off my chest. The good thing about this meeting is I feel much better after it. It is not that I shout at the players, not at all, it is about putting things in perspective – what we did well and didn’t do well. We live in a world where always everything is judged but in the end only one thing is important and that is what we think ourselves about it.
“For us and for me it is clear what we have to do. I cannot go into detail but of course we talk about pretty much everything, especially the important things for us, and try to exclude the not so important stuff. I got washed with all kinds of water in my life, highs and lows, and it is all about how you deal with it. It was a bit of a longer meeting – these kind of meetings always are – and afterwards I felt better.”
Klopp pinpointed aspects of Liverpool’s game that have been lacking during a winless start to the Premier League campaign. “We have to improve and what you can improve immediately is effort,” he said. “I’m not sure but let me say it was maybe 95%. In the world of football we are living in you need 100%, if not a little bit more. And passion.”
Klopp has admitted he was mistaken to rule out signing a midfielder earlier this summer, especially in light of the injuries that have subsequently struck, but reiterated that only the availability of the right target would prompt Liverpool to move before Thursday’s deadline.
“We have had this discussion since it all started and I am the one who said: ‘We don’t need a midfielder,’ and you were all right and I was wrong,” he said. “But the specific point doesn’t change – we will do something but it has to be the right one.
“Curtis [Jones] comes back, Thiago [Alcântara] not too far off, Diogo [Jota] not too far off, Joël [Matip] comes back and that all eases the situation slightly. It would be great if no one gets on the [injury] list on the other side with a really intense time coming up. We are looking for it and if it is the right player we need him and if it is not the right player we don’t need him.”