Klopp exposes Liverpool 'problems' compared to 'lucky' rivals
- The boss explains he wished the Reds could have fought for each of the four trophies, however, they were not in a position to play the starters in the domestic cups.
- The manager believes it's fortunate for Chelsea and Tottenham to have the full squads to their services.
- The German admits Liverpool now have some tangible squad problems, however, stresses it's alright and claims they still will fight hard for the Champions League and the Premier League.
Asked what challenged the Reds are experiencing with a lot of injured players, however, with a softer schedule after early exits from both the Carabao Cup and the League Cup, Jurgen Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com:
"The normal challenges. Now we go for the big stakes. Always you prepare bases, bases, bases. The less games you have, the better it is. You have already all your points, the points you need. Then you play each other or not, but it is normal and every year the same. It is like last year when we fought for the Champions League [qualification], everything was fine and then Chelsea found their feet back and it was really difficult in the end. We had to fight, that’s how it is.
"It’s the situation but nothing on top of that; it is just the normal thing. As long as you can stay completely focused, completely with yourself and be concentrated on what you have real influence on, the better is it. That’s what we try to do and so far it was pretty easy for us to stay focused – and it’s what we have to show – and will show again.
"There is no game in the Premier League where you can go and count the three points before you’ve played the game. I like that, it’s good. At the moment it should be OK line-up wise, but we already have problems.
"I saw the semi-final between Chelsea and Tottenham, I saw both benches were full with players I know – that means they have full squads, lucky them! We have to make sure that we prepare ourselves as good as possible for this last part of the season. It has not started yet, but it will be from the end of February. It will be there and we are still creating bases day by day. The best way to do that is to get points.
"If you have the full squad together it is massive. It is really good, it’s my preferred rhythm, to be honest. But especially if you play in Europe, then in each league in the world you have a lot of games in midweek. It’s not that we decided to go out of the Carabao Cup or the FA Cup and thought, ‘it’s not important’ – that’s not how it is.
"We got Chelsea at home, which was probably – as I’ve said before – for Chelsea and ourselves the most difficult game. It was pretty tight that game and we could have won it, but we lost it. Now at Wolves, it was the situation - we had to make changes after the most intense month of the year in December. If we would have played – with all respect – a League Two team or whatever, then probably the offensive line could have played because the intensity is different then.
"You have the ball most of the time, you can play and all that stuff. Against Wolves, it was clear with their style of play that they would make the pitch unbelievably big; they play diagonal balls over 60 metres and stuff like that, so you have to run. You cannot have the ball all the time, so that means you have to understand the expected intensity of the game and then you have to make a line-up. That’s what we did with a few injury problems on top because a lot of players couldn’t have played. We lost there, that’s all.
"I would love to still be in these competitions, but we are not and now we have to make the best of the time we have now. I know Pep [Guardiola] said already he prefers to be in four competitions – yes, I would prefer the same, but we are not in so now we have to make the best of the time we have now and get as many points as possible."