Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has called on his players to stick together and fight their way through their troubles this season.
The Reds fell to their first Premier League defeat in front of an Anfield crowd in almost five years on Saturday as they were bested 2-1 by Leeds United, with an 89th-minute strike from Crysencio Summerville bringing Virgil van Dijk’s home league record to an end at 70 games.
The defeat leaves Liverpool ninth in the league table, closer to the relegation zone than the top four after 12 games, and Klopp conceded his side are far from their best right now.
“It was a setback, absolutely,” he told Sky Sports. “I thought we had a really good start then conceded a freakish goal.
“We scored the equaliser but for some reason it didn’t give us the security back. We struggled to control the game and gave too many balls away.
“The boys tried, we had good possession and had big chances but, in the end, if it is 1-1 and you defend the situation around the second goal like this, you leave everything open.
“In the end, it was two versus one in the box and they can finish off the situation. The problem is we cannot control this type of game at the moment.”
Asked how to fix his side’s current issues, Klopp directed the attention towards his side’s injury struggles, insisting a lot of his top players simply have not had the time to get back to their best form because of a hectic schedule and a thin squad.
“Maybe some players are overplayed, Harvey [Elliott] has been exceptional for us this season,” Klopp began. “He had a good start but couldn’t keep it going. Thiago has been ill, up front the same [players] play all the time – they are the three strikers we have left. We have to fight and that is what we must do.
“A team performance is always made up of individual performances. One leads to the other. You can watch this game completely, you cannot defend like we did for the second goal but we did, that’s why we lost. Otherwise, it would have been a point and we go from there. Now we have nothing and it feels completely different.
“We have to bring our quality on to the pitch and we fight against it. We had problems from the first day, injury wise. Players have had to play from the first day. It’s our situation and it means we have to help ourselves, and that is what we will do.”