Jurgen Klopp can't forget the one that got away

Liverpool have lost only one of the opening 10 matches of Jurgen Klopp’s reign, but that defeat means the German is not getting carried away by his start at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp can't forget the one that got away

The Reds replaced Brendan Rodgers with the former Borussia Dortmund boss back in October and have claimed impressive away victories over Chelsea and Manchester City during his first two months at the helm.

Having presided over six wins and three draws, Klopp has garnered plenty of praise for quickly transforming the side in his mould. However, speaking ahead of tonight’s Capital One Cup quarter-final at Southampton, the German was unwilling to blow his own trumpet because last month’s 2-1 home defeat to Alan Pardew’s Palace still weighs on his mind.

“Sometimes I would really like to change my personality but I can’t forget this fucking loss against Crystal Palace,” he said. “If we had won this, I would say it was okay.” Klopp was hired less than eight weeks ago and has had little time to get his Reds squad adapted to the pressing style which took Dortmund to back-to-back Bundesliga titles and a Champions League final.

And he concedes he does not want to flood his squad with the nuances of his philosophy while the season is still ongoing.

“I think we’ve done not too bad until now,” Klopp said. “We give as much information as we could, as we should. With information, if I would say every day all the things I know, it is for sure too much.

“It’s timing, the right information is very important, of course. We don’t want that they have to take their papers on the pitch. It’s football.

“We have to play football. This word ‘playing’ is everything that you need.

“For this moment it’s okay — maybe we could have done better but we never will know this.

“We go on, we are not even at half of the way of the season, of our development. We all think we have a long time together and we have always to do the next step.” Klopp, meanwhile, has quashed suggestions Liverpool are hunting for a new goalkeeper after declaring himself happy with current first choice Simon Mignolet.

The Reds have been linked to a number of shot-stoppers in recent days, including Stoke’s England international Jack Butland.

However, Klopp has moved to back Belgian international Mignolet, who he believes is turning his Liverpool career around after a number of mishaps during predecessor Brendan Rodgers’ reign.

“I’m absolutely satisfied with our goalkeeper situation,” said manager Klopp. I’m sorry to kill your stories about German goalkeepers and different goalkeepers from Stoke — we are not looking for another goalkeeper. We have enough high-quality goalkeepers.” For his part, Ronald Koeman believes the key to defeating Klopp’s men comes in understanding the German’s pressing game.

Much has been spoken about Klopp’s favoured ‘gegenpressing’ system, with which he inspired such success at Borussia Dortmund and has worked well during his short time at Anfield.

However, Koeman is convinced Southampton have the measure of the system ahead of tonight’s game.

“We know Liverpool likes to press and if you beat the press then you have a lot of options and possibilities,” the Southampton manager said.

“(Liverpool) have the fast transition when they get the ball.

“When you lose the ball, they play a different system to most teams with one striker and then two strikers behind the striker. It’s hard to have a good defensive organisation.

“I’m not afraid. I prepare my team always about what we can do and how we beat the press and then we have good opportunities to create chances.

“(We need to) be aware (about) what we did very poorly last weekend.

“In that quality we have to improve and we have to play our level, and if not they are very dangerous.” Next year represents the 40th anniversary of Southampton’s last major trophy, having famously shocked Manchester United to win the 1976 FA Cup.

Several Premier League teams no longer take that competition or the Capital One Cup seriously, but Koeman is determined to achieve success in such competition because he believes Saints’ opportunities are limited elsewhere.

“It’s very important because we have, as a Southampton team, two opportunities to win a title,” said Koeman, who will replace injured captain Jose Fonte with Steven Caulker on Wednesday.

“One is the FA Cup and the second one is the Capital One Cup. We don’t win the Premier League and it’s very important (to do well in this match).

“First, about the competition we like to reach the semi-final, and, second, after the two defeats the best way to get back full of confidence is winning.”

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox