After dropping yet another point to a smaller team in West Ham, Liverpool’s manager Klopp is confident his team will not crack under pressure, and they can still win the league ahead of Manchester City and Spurs.
Liverpool in their Monday night game, had taken the lead through Sadio Mane against West Ham but saw the opener quickly cancelled out by Michail Antonio almost immediately, and in the first half of the game.
The two teams in the second half did well, but it was the Liverpool team that looked more like the struggling side and lucky not to have lost the game, as West Ham played well to deserve all three points.
Speaking after the draw against West Ham, Klopp speaking to Liverpoolfc.com said:
On whether Liverpool were ‘lucky’ to get a point against West Ham, he said:
I don’t think so. But I know why [Manuel Pellegrini] thinks that, because our goal was offside, I didn’t know that in the game and at half-time, nobody told me and I didn’t ask. After the game, our analysts told me immediately, so I can imagine that. They scored a goal, we scored an offside goal. But that’s actually the only reason why he could think that – and a couple of other set-pieces where they were really strong. They had moments, when we lost the ball and they could win it with a deep formation, but that’s normal. We had a lot of situations with passing through balls and our full-backs, especially Robbo in the first half, where we didn’t find the free player. And on the other side, similar, we didn’t find it. It was difficult again, creating against so many legs, honestly. Because of our situation, yesterday night we trained and after the session we had to change three positions, that’s of course not perfect. And you saw that around the set-pieces especially with organisation. That’s where we struggled a bit. It’s a game where if Divock scores the late goal it would be of course a lucky moment. But the point is absolutely deserved
On whether his side were ‘scared’ by West Ham…
They defended well, that’s true. They didn’t scare us, it’s a normal away game. We have won away games when we’ve played worse than tonight and nobody spoke about it afterwards. We won last year at Crystal Palace 2-1 with two offensive situations pretty much. Tonight, we had much more. That they have quality, there is no doubt. Why they don’t have results more often, I don’t know. Tonight, they had a result – 1-1 – but I didn’t see that they scared us.
On the significance of the result against West Ham
It’s very important. We had a difficult situation. It’s a long season. In general, we lost one game in the whole season, so the team are doing well. We have a tough situation in the moment. I don’t know where the injuries or illnesses are coming from. Millie was ill and maybe is still ill, I’m not sure; Virg had three or four days where he was out and lost four kilos. Obviously that doesn’t help. You have difficult situations; the centre-half position, the right full-back, that’s all difficult in the moment. But the boys still fight. Could we have played better even in that situation? 100 per cent, that’s what we expect from ourselves. But the games are difficult and we have to accept the quality of the opponent and then use the weaknesses they have. We did that in a lot of situations pretty well, but they reacted with the 4-5-1 with Snodgrass in the half-space, a more defensive formation.
On whether injuries are causing the biggest issues for Liverpool…
I don’t moan about that, it is just a fact. It is not an excuse or nothing. I said we could have played better tonight, 100 per cent, but it’s the situation and it’s not perfect. We lost two players and Millie came back because he didn’t train yesterday. He came by himself to London because it was infectious. That is all not perfect, of course. For me, it explains parts of the game, but we don’t look for these things. As I said, the preparation for the game was far away from being perfect and we still got a point. That’s it.
On who is under the most pressure in the title race after West Ham draw:
I think since five, six, seven, eight weeks we talked about a two-horse race. Now Tottenham came from behind, they have a very difficult situation and deal with it brilliantly, I have to say – really, all credit to Poch and his team how they did it. Winning games very late with a lot of injury problems as well, that’s great. For me, they are 100 per cent in the race. If you want to be at the top of the table at the end of the season you have to deal with much tougher situations than we had today, that’s the truth and is always clear. Of course, you need players fit and available – that helps a bit! [Substitute] midfield players tonight, apart from Shaq, would have been 18 and 18 years old. Brilliant boys and if needed we would have played them tonight, but that’s not perfect in the moment. We have to fight, it is not about pressure – it’s about enjoying the situation you are in. We have 62 points, have lost one game in the league season so far which is very positive, but I see in your faces already you feel a bit sorry with us. You don’t have to, we are fine. We are fine and everything is good, but of course tonight was just a tough game. If you have a day like that, with the things that happened yesterday, then you get a point at West Ham, for me that’s absolutely fine.
On whether the title race will get even tougher:
That’s clear, it’s not a surprise. For all of us, if you want to win big things then you have to be ready for these tight races. That’s how it is.” He said