Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says he does not buy in to the media hysteria surrounding results, but has admitted his concern at the champions predicament.
The Reds have won just two of their last nine Premier League matches but victory over Leicester on Saturday lunchtime would see them leapfrog their opponents into third place. Still, they remain 10 points off the pace set by Man City.
Liverpool’s recent 4-1 defeat to City saw former Man Utd man Roy Keane describe them as “bad champions” and Klopp has admitted he has been surprised by their predicament.
Klopp said: “With playing soccer. Again, you saw the game [against Manchester City] and we talk about it like the players had absolutely no confidence or whatever.
“There are different levels of confidence. The confidence, you get with results in a row. So, one game, you win it and it gives you a little bit of confidence but if you don’t know exactly why you won it, the next game will teach you differently. How I said, it’s only five or six days ago that we were very confident, very calm and lost the game,
“I know. But the soccer we played around the goals we conceded was really, really good. And you can only play this kind of soccer when you are confident. So we don’t have an issue where I now talk every day about being even more confident or whatever.
“The boys know who they are, the boys know how good they are, that’s all clear. But to feel it 100 per cent, you have to perform on the pitch – and that’s what we do, in training and in the games.
“We know we are not completely clueless or whatever when we talk about soccer, but we know we have to be successful in the future, and that’s what we try. I don’t get the noise around the results, to be honest, whatever you wrote I didn’t read it!”
Klopp’s team were comfortable 3-0 winners in their November Anfield meeting against Leicester but the dynamic has changed considerably since.
“I know what the situation is. Even when I know the reason that we are not flying, I expect us to win more soccer games than we did,” added the Reds boss, whose bad luck with injuries continued with Fabinho ruled out of Saturday’s match.
“That’s what I am concerned about. That’s it. To be really successful you have to be lucky as well.
“If you are unlucky you have a problem and if you have a problem you have to solve it but it will not be the perfect season any more.
“For us we have 15 games to go still, so a lot of points.
“We will try our absolute best to make the best season from now on. That’s our job.”
The Reds’ last-16 first-leg tie away to RB Leipzig on Tuesday has already been moved to Budapest due to restrictions placed on travel to Germany.
It is likely the home leg three weeks later is also set to be switched as the rules imposed by the German authorities mean the Bundesliga side would have to quarantine if they flew back from the United Kingdom.
Extra travel does not concern Klopp
Asked whether he was concerned about the extra travel, Klopp said: “No, not really. It’s something we cannot change and have no influence on it at all.
“We just wait for the moment when somebody tells us where we have to play. In this case, it’s UEFA.
“The flight to Hungary is obviously longer than to Germany for the first game, maybe an hour, that’s a difference but not the main difference, and Leipzig have to fly there as well.
“Where we play the second game I don’t know yet. Depends on a few decisions. We are again not involved in them.
“That’s two games around all the other games. I don’t think it makes a massive difference.
“It would be much nicer if we were allowed to play in Leipzig and especially to play at Anfield but it’s not in our hands.
“I didn’t really think about it, we just accept the decision and prepare the game after the Leicester game.”
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