Jurgen Klopp: We are not running on empty

Liverpool’s season is not running out of steam, according to manager Jurgen Klopp.

Jurgen Klopp: We are not running on empty

The Reds have won only one of their last seven games and host Wolves in the FA Cup fourth round at the end of the most disappointing week of their season.

A 3-2 home defeat by struggling Swansea saw them slip 10 points behind Chelsea in the Premier League title race while they were beaten by Southampton in the semi-finals of the EFL Cup.

Some observers have attributed Liverpool’s struggles to a waning of their physical performance and the intensity that Klopp’s teams are famous for.

The German, though, insisted the statistics do not bear that out.

He said: “They are still as high in all parts as they were before, especially in distance. The games are different so sometimes there will be less sprints to do, it’s completely different when you play United, City or Swansea, but no they didn’t change.

“It’s not a fitness problem. We didn’t play that well but we could have won games, we could have won against (Manchester) United, we could have won against Swansea. Football is about decision-making — you have to make the right decisions at the right moment.”

Klopp is confident Liverpool have addressed their deficiencies and the big thing that needs to change now is a bit of luck.

“We’ve worked on it already,” he said. “We had the chances (against Southampton). You have to carry on and things will change again.

“We don’t run less, we don’t invest less. In one or two games we created less but it’s still a process.

“We had a few games when from now on everyone thought we would fly but unfortunately the season is too long. When you stop flying then it’s hard work to go back in this mood.

“Hopefully we’ve already sorted it. It’s not a big thing. It was not good enough in a few moments the last few matches and that changed the results completely.”

Wolves has become a more significant game because of this week’s two losses but Klopp insisted the FA Cup would have been a priority anyway.

He named a youthful side for the third-round clash with Plymouth, which the Reds needed a replay to come through, and will make changes again today.

Klopp said: “That would mean that we thought before differently about the FA Cup — if we are still in one cup then we don’t want to play in the FA Cup. No.

“Of course we lost the last two so that changes a little bit the view on the third game but it doesn’t change our view on the FA Cup in general.

“We knew about the importance of this tournament. A few people thought we don’t know about it because of our line-up in the third round but of course we did.”

Klopp also insisted Daniel Sturridge’s many injury problems have not left permanent scars.

The striker has not scored for five games and, after Liverpool’s defeat to Southampton in midweek, former Reds defender Jamie Carragher highlighted Sturridge’s declining pace.

But Klopp believes any physical legacy of his periods on the sidelines is not permanent.

The Reds boss said: “I thought, after the Southampton game, from the physical side it was a really good game from Daniel Sturridge.

“He was really involved from the first second to the last second, and usually Daniel Sturridge scores twice but he’s a human being so he missed the chances.

“Of course, more injuries can have the effect that you lose, not the speed, but 100% trust in your body when sprinting. But it’s not lost forever. Daniel is the best age for a football player so, if he can stay fit, everything will be fine.”

For his part, Wolves boss Paul Lambert believes the players can again rise to the challenge in front of some 8,300 travelling supporters, as he looks to get one over on Klopp.

The pair were on the same Pro Licence course in 2004 and have since kept in touch, with Lambert spending some time back at Borussia Dormund, one of his former clubs, when Klopp was head coach of the German Bundesliga outfit.

“We have got nothing to lose and everything to gain,” Lambert said.

“We go up against a great team and a great club, with the history and everything attached to it, but in one given game, you can win.”

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