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Juergen Klopp: We will be a different animal against Manchester City

Liverpool manager unconcerned by poor form ahead of Community Shield

Juergen Klopp shrugged off Liverpool's poor pre-season form after a 3-0 defeat by Napoli at Murrayfield, Scotland, yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The European champions have not tasted victory in their last four friendlies, losing to Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla and drawing with Sporting Lisbon, before their loss in Edinburgh.

Lorenzo Insigne, Arkadiusz Milik and Amin Younes scored for the Serie A side in front of a sell-out 65,000 crowd, with Klopp using 21 players in total.

The Reds have only one more friendly, against Lyon on Thursday morning, before they kick off their season with a Community Shield clash against English Premier League champions Manchester City on Sunday.

Not that Klopp is overly perturbed, particularly with Alisson and Roberto Firmino - who won the Copa America with Brazil - and Mohamed Salah - who was away with Egypt at the African Nations Cup - returning to training yesterday.


Only Sadio Mane has yet to return after reaching the African Nations Cup final with Senegal. He is due back only after the Community Shield.

Said the Liverpool manager: "Missing six players is strange. That you lose players during a pre-season, we are used to - that happened from time to time.

"But that they don't start from the beginning and come a couple of days before or after we start with the season, is not cool...

"The good thing is, if opponents want to analyse us now, they think 'easy job', but we will be a different animal next week."

While Klopp might not be alarmed, some of his players seemed worried by the performance against Napoli.

Said left-back Andy Robertson: "We were outplayed. At times, we looked foolish by not pressing as a team.

"And we need to look at it and improve as our season starts in a week, and it doesn't get any harder than Man City.

"We need to be a hell of a lot better than this.

"Jordan Henderson and James Milner pulled us in for a huddle on the pitch, and what was said cannot be repeated until after 9pm. It's not crisis meetings, it's pre-season.

"But we can't get into a habit of losing or drawing. We need to step it up massively."

Former Liverpool defender Steve Nicol, meanwhile, called the Reds' defending in pre-season "an absolute disaster".

He said on ESPN FC: "The rock that Liverpool really was built on over the last 18 months was their defence.

"So, if you're going to be losing goals the way they've been losing goals in pre-season, it really doesn't matter who you've got up front, because it's been an absolute disaster."

However ex-Everton boss Sam Allardyce felt too much is being made of Liverpool's pre-season struggles.

He told talkSPORT: "It's about the fitness of the players, not the results.

"Too many people outside of the club read too much into results in pre-season, that's the problem… it's what happens on the first game of the season."