Klopp’s side moved into the Premier League’s top six with a nervy 1-0 victory over the Swans at Anfield. The result means that Monk’s side, who were fourth at the end of August, are only four points above the relegation zone after winning just one of their last 10 league matches. That has led to suggestions that the Swansea manager’s job is under threat, despite the fact that he led them to eighth place last season – their highest league finish since 1982.
“Nothing much in football surprises me to be honest. But I would say I’d be surprised if it is the right decision to criticize him because his team plays very well,” said Klopp.
“They showed a good reaction against us following their recent results.
“I’m not sure what level Swansea wanted to reach before the season started but for this team I see no problem in the league. They will play a good role over the remainder of the season, I’m sure.”
Despite Klopp’s endorsement, Swansea failed to record a single shot on target at Anfield as they lost to James Milner’s 62nd-minute penalty. Monk, though, believes his team’s spirited performance was evidence that his players remain firmly behind him:
“There’s never been a doubt about that. Anyone who suggests otherwise would be a very stupid person.
“But the results are the be-all and end-all. We have to get results very quickly and we have to get points on the board very quickly.
“But if you perform like that, if you have those principles and that work ethic, that will happen.
“I thought we were excellent with the ball too, very fluid -– you could sense the crowd were getting frustrated.”
Milner converted the spot kick, which was awarded on the word of a linesman after left back Neil Taylor was judged to have handled Jordon Ibe’s cross. Referee Anthony Taylor missed the offense, and Monk thought it was a controversial decision:
“We were never in any danger. Those players deserved a lot more than they got.
“I thought it was an extremely soft penalty. To lose the game on a decision that’s out of our hands is very disappointing.
“I’m not making any excuses, but part of the problem is that those decisions you need to go for you have gone against us.
“But the results are my responsibility. The results haven’t been good enough, but that didn’t look like a team in trouble, did it?”
Klopp welcomed back captain Jordan Henderson and striker Daniel Sturridge from injury, as both players made second-half substitute appearances. He is hopeful that playmaker Philippe Coutinho, who missed the match with a hamstring problem, will be fit for Wednesday’s League Cup quarterfinal trip to Southampton.
“I think that Philippe has a chance for Wednesday. He had a very intensive training session yesterday,” said Klopp.
“We decided two or three days ago that we didn’t want to risk him for Swansea.
“But now I think he is fit, but I will talk tomorrow with him. I think he is ready.”
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