Klopp urges Liverpool to recover from defeat

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp.
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Juergen Klopp has challenged his Liverpool flops to prove they have the stomach for a fight after capitulating in a woeful 3-0 defeat by Watford.

His side fell apart after a blunder from Reds goalkeeper Adam Bogdan was punished by Watford's Nathan Ake in the third minute at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

Showing little resistance against tenacious opponents, Liverpool conceded a sloppy second goal when Odion Ighalo bullied Martin Skrtel into another mistake in the 15th minute.

Liverpool never threatened a response as Klopp suffered the heaviest defeat of his two-month reign.

Coming after praise was heaped on the German and his players following impressive wins at Manchester City and Southampton, Klopp wants to see what kind of response Liverpool, without a win in four matches, can summon now that the going is a little tougher.

He said: "After Southampton and Manchester City everyone thought 'wow'. That was one part of what we can do.

"Now everyone saw the complete other side.

"Maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle, but I know how strong this team can be.

"We don't feel good today of course. We came here to do something really different from what you saw.

"We have a few days before the next game and we will work on it.

"The easy game everyone wins. Now we have to win the difficult ones."

Klopp had no qualms about criticising Bogdan for his mistake.

However, he felt that referee Mark Clattenburg could have blown for a foul before Ake scored because he virtually kicked the ball out of the Liverpool goalkeeper's hands.

"We made bigger faults than the ref but in my opinion, he had both hands on the ball so it is a foul," said the German.

"Mistakes can happen, that is football, but the reaction has to be better.

"We lost our minds after the goal.

"I would say hopefully it's the most disappointing moment in my whole Liverpool FC life."

Liverpool looked a soft touch without powerful but out-of-form Belgian striker Christian Benteke, whom Klopp dropped to recall Roberto Firmino.

Benteke has been linked with a January move to Chelsea, but Klopp insisted there was no chance the former Aston Villa star would be sold just six months after moving to Anfield.

"That is the next problem. If you lose the games, everyone is allowed to ask why didn't you play this or that player," he said.

"If it is the same probability as all the other transfer rumours I've read since I've been here, then I'd say I'm pretty cool."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 22, 2015, with the headline 'Klopp urges Liverpool to recover from defeat'. Print Edition | Subscribe