Klopp backs Liverpool to bounce back after 3 losses in 4 games
Juergen Klopp insisted the best of Liverpool's season may still be to come, despite a third defeat in four games saw them crash out of the FA Cup 2-0 at the hands of Chelsea yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Klopp made seven changes to the side beaten for the first time in 45 English Premier League games at Watford on Saturday, but still named a far stronger XI than the youthful teams that had seen off Everton and Shrewsbury to reach the fifth round.
However, goals from Willian and Ross Barkley gave Frank Lampard's men a much-needed lift at Stamford Bridge.
"Losing 2-0 is not good, but it is relatively easy to explain. We made two massive mistakes around the goals," said Klopp.
Chelsea got the boost they needed from the opening goal as Liverpool's understudy goalkeeper Adrian undid the good work of a brilliant save from Willian within a minute.
The Blues' Brazilian winger was gifted possession again just outside the Liverpool box after his compatriot Fabinho lost the ball and this time, Adrian could only turn his powerful drive into the bottom corner.
Barkley doubled their lead with a sizzling strike after a surging run in the 64th minute and, despite the introduction of James Milner, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, the Reds could do nothing to prevent another defeat.
"It is not the best three weeks of the whole season, but it is a chance to make it the best three weeks now and that is the plan," added Klopp.
"Nobody has to feel sorry for us, we will win football games and that is what we want to do (against Bournemouth) on Saturday ."
Liverpool remain well on course for a first league title in 30 years with a 22-point lead at the top of the EPL, but their dip in form is a cause for concern.
Pundits have pointed to the absence of skipper Jordan Henderson as a reason. The midfielder missed the last three games due to a hamstring injury.
Even before the Chelsea match, former Reds assistant boss Phil Thompson said the 29-year-old has been sorely missed, telling Sky Sports that had the skipper played, he would have demanded a lot more from his teammates.
After the Reds lost to Chelsea, former England captain Gary Lineker tweeted: "There's every chance that @JHenderson's injury could well clinch him the Footballer of the Year trophy.
"Sometimes you don't realise a player's importance to a side until they're absent."
Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Ruediger, Zouma, Alonso, Kovacic (Mount 42), Gilmour, Barkley, Willian (Jorginho 51), Giroud (James 90), Pedro
Adrian, Williams, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson, Lallana (Salah 80), Fabinho, Jones (Milner 70), Minamino, Origi (Firmino 70), Mane