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Klopp says Liverpool must ‘fight’ to regain form as he discusses his changes of systems

Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool must fight to regain their form and has discussed his changes of system this season.

Liverpool are eighth in the Premier League table after a disappointing start to the domestic season, with consecutive losses to Nottingham Forest and Leeds having left the Reds adrift in the race for Champions League football.


Klopp’s side have been improved in Europe and beat Napoli 2-0 in midweek in a return to form. Liverpool travel to face Spurs this weekend as the club look to close the gap on the sides above them and Klopp has called on his side to fight their way through a challenging period.

“We have to fight through this. We cannot play through this,” Klopp said at his pre-match press conference.

“We can’t just go there and say, ‘Forget the defending and circle around them’. Nutmegs here, backheels there, it doesn’t just work like that. That is why we are in the mood we are. It is absolutely ok. After Leeds I couldn’t have felt worse, no chance, but then you beat a team in form and that gives you a lift. It is normal.

“Now we play Tottenham and we will try to make sure we will feel like we did after the Napoli game.”

Klopp has changed formation on several occasions this season, fluctuating between the 4-3-3 system he has used for much of his tenure and a 4-4-2 with a front pairing. The 55-year-old has opened up on his reasons for the changes and said personnel and the club’s concerning defensive record have been behind his tactical switches.

“Two reasons: the availability of players and because we are not as solid defensively as we used to be,” he said. “You can always point the finger and say ‘This was not good, this was not good’, or you give the players a completely new textbook. That is what we tried. We changed the system. It is a new chapter. In this system you do it like this, you don’t pair it with the last one.

“My main job is to help the boys do what they do in the most confident way and manner, and that is why we did that. Because our main problem was defending as a team, as a unit.

“We defended against Napoli really well – a football-playing side – but we closed exactly the right gaps, everybody was involved, chasing from the back. Our counter-press was really good. A high last line. That means we were high up in midfield, so we really could be around these situations.

“It is not the system that gave us the opportunity to defend, but we defended in a system better than when we played it last time five or six weeks ago.

“We have to defend on an incredibly high level, and sometimes when you close one door and sort one problem, it’s pretty likely you open another. That is why we are trying and trying and trying.”

Liverpool kept a clean sheet during the win over Napoli, a welcome boost against the Champions League’s leading scorers. It was a fourth clean sheet in six games across all competitions for the Reds, but Klopp wants more from his team as he seeks greater solidity at the back.

“We didn’t concede a goal in that game by an armpit, it is margins. That is how it is. It’s not that we are defending in the best possible way, but considering how good Napoli is, how easy it looks in moments when they play. To analyse them was a pure joy, because everything they do works out in the moment. It’s crazy, the way they score goals, the highest tempo, and the challenge was to deny them and we did that.

“We did that, now we have to do it again and again and again. It is a different game. Napoli is an offensive team, it is not clear how Tottenham will get into this game. When they chased the game, it was an obvious change of approach. Before that, it was well organised and defensive. We have to expect both.”

Read – Four midfielders Liverpool could target in January

Read Also – Eight talking points ahead of the Premier League weekend

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