Jurgen Klopp has opened up on the improvement from Liverpool this season as his team prepare to face Newcastle at Anfield.
Liverpool head into this weekend’s schedule top of the Premier League table, while the Reds boast the best defensive record in the division after a clean sheet at Burnley on Boxing Day.
Last season, Klopp’s side finished fifth to miss out on Champions League qualification for the first time in seven seasons, and the German has opened up on how his team have improved this time around.
“It’s always a problem when you lose too many balls but but we’ve conceded 16 and about eight or nine of them was after we’ve lost the ball. Last season that was more of a problem,” Klopp said at his pre-match press conference.
“Sometimes we can get caught but we’ve done better now and recently, counter-pressing wise. That helps and means everyone reacts better. If you feel the midfield and front three are really involved in counter-pressing you can have a high line. We work a lot on it but we did last year as well. It’s just the effort everyone puts in.”
Liverpool head into January in a much improved position from last season, with the Reds having taken 13 more points than at the same stage in 2022/23. Liverpool failed to win in their three Premier League fixtures in January last season and Klopp is keen to ensure his side do not suffer another new year hangover.
“It was a horrible time last year (January) but we don’t think too much about it. I say I am not happy I am just OK. It doesn’t sound positive enough but it is. It’s a process. This team is in the middle of something, we try to make the best of it.
“We’ve had some players who haven’t played one game for us, key players. And now we have no left-backs. It all starts with defending, we are not desperate. We had chances v Manchester United and then we got desperate but in general we’re not because we don’t think we will concede a lot.
“That is really important. Some things that have happened were not cool at the moment but it helped us develop.”