Klopp urges Liverpool to ‘fight’ way out of mini-slump


London (AFP) – Jurgen Klopp has urged Liverpool to “fight” as the runaway Premier League leaders battle to end their mini-slump against relegation-threatened Bournemouth on Saturday.

Liverpool have lost three of their past four matches in all competitions but remain 22 points clear of Manchester City at the top of the league table.

Tuesday’s FA Cup defeat at the hands of Chelsea followed a shock Premier League loss against Watford last week. 

In February they lost 1-0 to Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.

The 3-0 defeat at Watford brought an abrupt end to a run of 18 straight victories in the Premier League but they need just four more wins to guarantee winning the title for the first time in 30 years.

Klopp said his team’s approach would not change despite their rocky run.

“Of course winning gives you confidence, losing costs you confidence, that’s completely normal,” the Liverpool boss told his pre-match press conference on Friday.

“You start thinking about different things. It’s a long while ago (since a bad spell) but one defeat feels like two defeats — it’s not a massive difference.

“It’s how you get back on track immediately and you can do that not by hoping that things are now clicking even better than the game before so we have just to work really hard. We have to fight back on track.”

– Liverpool momentum –

Klopp said rediscovering momentum was important ahead of the second leg of the Champions League tie against Atletico next week and he expects a strong response against Bournemouth.

“In a lot of moments we could have done better,” he said, referring to recent matches. 

“We know that 100 percent and that’s what we are working on but we don’t take it for granted from now on that we will not score any more and they will score with each chance that they have. That’s not like it is.

“We know if we perform at our highest level, and there’s nothing else we want to do tomorrow, it will be difficult for Bournemouth. We should not forget that.”

Klopp was also asked about the latest measures being taken to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, which has infected nearly 100,000 people across the world and killed more than 3,300.

The Premier League has banned pre-match handshakes and Liverpool have said they will not use child mascots.

“Nothing has changed here really apart from why should you give a handshake in times when it’s not the right thing to do? So it’s not that difficult to change that,” said Klopp. “Apart from that we have to do the normal stuff.”

Goalkeeper Alisson Becker has been ruled out of the Bournemouth match after suffering a muscle injury ahead of the midweek FA Cup tie at Chelsea.

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