Reds can deal with defeat well: Klopp

LONDON • Jurgen Klopp is not concerned that Liverpool's dressing room morale might fall apart as a result of the narrow Premier League defeat at Manchester City last week.

The Reds manager intends to make a number of changes for today's FA Cup third-round tie at Wolverhampton Wanderers, but is confident that it will be business as usual in the league after that.

"All the boys in the squad are pretty experienced at dealing with defeat," the German said.

"We've had a few of them before. This was just our first in the league and we actually played quite well at the Etihad. I don't think we need to feel insecure about losing 2-1.

"We gave City a good game and it was a very tight game. We were unlucky at times, but that's absolutely okay because when City came to Anfield, they missed a late penalty. That could have been a defeat for us right back in October, but it wasn't."

Klopp felt that, by some measures, Liverpool did better against City in defeat than they did on the occasions last season when they won.

"There is nothing wrong with going down narrowly at the Etihad," he said.

"I regard that as the most difficult place in England to go and get a result and this time the margins were so fine that I would say the game was shared roughly 50-50.

"In the past, even when we have won, it's been more like 60-40 in City's favour. Even when we beat them 3-0 in the Champions League last season, City still had a lot of the game; we were under pressure for long periods and the reason we won was that we were quite clinical in taking our chances.

"The last game was different from all the others we have played against City; there were two teams matching each other and I think that shows how much we have improved."

Liverpool are away to Brighton next in the Premier League on Saturday but, before that, there is the match against Wolves and a welcome respite from the intensity of the league programme over the holiday period.

Simon Mignolet will get a game in goal and there will most likely be starts for Naby Keita and Adam Lallana. Klopp also confirmed a start for Alberto Moreno, the left-back who went public at the end of last year with his dissatisfaction over a lack of game time.

"The FA Cup is a very important competition, but we have to make sure we can play with the right intensity," the manager added.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 07, 2019, with the headline 'Reds can deal with defeat well: Klopp'. Print Edition | Subscribe