Jurgen Klopp has dismissed that he needs a rest after a run of three-straight Premier League defeats combined with the death of his mother has many people concerned about the Liverpool boss.
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Some reports even suggested that he would resign or would be fired by Liverpool, which Klopp laughed off in his latest press conference: “Did I get sacked or did I leave by myself?”
But Klopp was clearly angry, and sad, after Liverpool imploded late on at Leicester City to lose 3-1 as he admitted his reigning champions will not win the Premier League title this season.
Speaking ahead of Liverpool’s huge UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg against RB Leipzig (played at a neutral venue in Budapest, Hungary) on Tuesday, Klopp reassured those concerned about his health and said he will not be leaving the club anytime soon.
“The banner is nice, I don’t feel that I need special support but it is very nice,” Klopp said, after Liverpool fans put up a banner of supporter at Anfield for him. “I don’t need a break. The last thing I want to do is to talk about private things. Yes we have had a tough time but we always deal with this as a family 100 percent. And when I come here, I am 53, I’ve worked as a coach for 30 years and I can split off things.
“I don’t carry things around. Of course we are influenced by things, but no-one has to worry about me. The beard gets more and more grey, I don’t sleep a lot, but I‘m full of energy. Now we are in this situation I see it as a challenge.”
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson said that players have to take the responsibility to perform better, and was asked about reports that Klopp, Alisson and Andy Robertson had a fight in the Liverpool dressing room after the loss at Leicester.
“I don’t think I even need to comment on something like that,” Henderson said. “Someone is sitting behind a keyboard making rumours up about the manager and players in the dressing room. It’s not true. I quite like the rumour about Robbo and Ally having a fight, that made me chuckle a little bit. But I didn’t give it a lot of thought.”
Klopp reveals motivation from supporters
With Liverpool losing five of their last eight games in the league, Klopp revealed the support of their loyal fans is helping them kick on as they aim for glory in the Champions League.
“We do this for the people. I feel the responsibility so much when things don’t go well. The majority of our people are still, and maybe even more so, with us,” Klopp said. “It’s nice to see but I’d prefer to fight this with our people in the stadium. It’s not what you wish for as you can show real togetherness if the stadiums were full for the next 10 games. So we fight together, just in different places. Knowing about the support is great.”
The fact that Liverpool have pretty much the same squad together which won the Champions League title in 2019 will count for a lot against a talented, but inexperienced, RB Leipzig side.
Injuries to blame for poor form
But that doesn’t mean Klopp still isn’t worried about injuries.
With center backs Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk out, plus stand-in center back Fabinho injured and new center back signing Ben Davies picking up a knock in training, it will likely be down to Ozan Kabak and Jordan Henderson at center back against Leipzig.
Klopp believes that injuries can easily explain their dramatic slump as they’ve slipped from being title contenders to top four hopefuls over the last few weeks.
“All the weeks and months you can see easily it is a mix of different things that happened. Now is not the time to explain,” Klopp said. “Injuries have played part in it, you can’t ignore them, it changed everything. Its like building a house, if the foundations are not right things are a bit shaky. We cannot change things but we will work on it.”
Klopp will be getting all the support he needs from everyone at Liverpool and pretty much every single fan on the planet will wish him well as he tries to bring the good times back to the Reds.