Klopp says Liverpool ‘will not fall apart’ after latest setback
LONDON – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted that they “will not fall apart” after the holders exited the FA Cup following a second defeat by Brighton & Hove Albion this month.
They lost 2-1 at Amex Stadium in the fourth round on Sunday, as Kaoru Mitoma struck the winning goal in stoppage time.
Harvey Elliott had put Liverpool ahead on 30 minutes but Lewis Dunk equalised before half-time and the score stayed at 1-1 until Mitoma found the net in the 92nd minute with a fine finish.
It was the second time Brighton defeated Liverpool in January, having also beaten Klopp’s side 3-0 in an English Premier League game at the Amex which he called the worst in his reign.
The German said on Sunday: “We have still space for improvement. We make steps but we have to improve, we have to improve further and that’s what we will do.
“After we came back from the World Cup break, we wanted to go for it. So far, it didn’t happen properly. But it just means we have to keep working.
“I am not over the moon about this performance but, again, the only thing that happened really is that we lost against a good side, who we lost (to) two weeks ago in a horrendous game.
“Today was much better... Last game here we couldn’t have won, but this today, nobody would be surprised if we had won. We will not fall apart, I can tell you.”
Liverpool have just one win in their last six games after coming close to winning the quadruple last season, before ending up with the League Cup and FA Cup. They finished one point behind champions Manchester City in the English Premier League and lost the Champions League final to Real Madrid.
However, this season has seen a drop-off. They are ninth in the league, have been knocked out of both domestic Cups but are in the last 16 of the Champions League after recovering from a chastening 4-1 defeat by Napoli in their opener.
Liverpool legend Mark Lawrenson conceded their chances of finishing in the Premier League top four are all but over, telling talkSPORT: “I just don’t see it. It’s sheer inconsistency...
“They’ve not got great legs in midfield and they lack experience. They’re going through that change a little bit. They haven’t become a bad side and the manager is not a bad manager – he’s outstanding.
“He’s said it already, it’s one of those where they get to the summer and the revolving door will open: there will be people coming out and people coming in.”
However, former Liverpool and Scotland midfielder Don Hutchison cautioned that his former team’s interest in Jude Bellingham in the summer won’t solve their issues.
He told ESPN: “If anyone thinks that Liverpool are going to sign Jude Bellingham tomorrow and he’s going to be the answer... it ain’t gonna happen.
“They need a major rebuild in midfield. Backline’s not too bad, front men are sensational going forward when they’re all fit. But it’s not just a one-man fix. This is going to take a lot of time.” - REUTERS, AFP
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