West Ham United will face an ‘angry’ Liverpool team on Sunday, according to Jürgen Klopp, who believes his players will learn from the nature of last weekend’s defeat to Bournemouth.
The 4-3 reverse on the south coast represented only the Reds’ second loss in 18 games across all competitions this season.
However, the manner in which the scoreline came about - with Klopp’s side twice giving up two-goal leads - resulted in the manager being asked today whether he was worried that Liverpool might be heading into their Anfield clash with the Hammers nursing a ‘hangover’.
“No concern. When you win a game like this, like Norwich or Dortmund, it’s not sure that you are prepared for the next situation,” he told his pre-match press conference.
“You only think what is for sure is that you win these games but not always, and sometimes you lose them, and that was the situation in the Bournemouth game.
“More importantly is how we played around. I think I said it after the game that we played good enough to win the game until it slipped through our fingers. That was wrong judgement, we did the wrong things, we were getting passive - what’s not really usual for us.
“What I said around the goals - the second goal, really not good protected, we were 3-1 up and played one bad pass close to their box and they score a goal. That makes not a lot of sense.
“We did it already 500 times better, but in this situation we did not good and Bournemouth used the situation. All the goals could’ve been defended easily, but we didn’t do it. That’s our fault, we’re responsible for this, but it’s always good when you know you are responsible yourself because then you can change it.
“For me it’s very important that we go on playing like we played, with better defending, of course, in the specific situations.
“But it’s not allowed now that I pick all the situations out and say ‘if we are in an offensive moment, protection is always important’. There’s a clear rule, be an option or protection.
“But if the only thing about protection is that we cannot be an option anymore. This is the kind of risk you have to take, but at the end some teams will have counter-attacks but we can defend them better.
“If it was not Divock’s pass, if it was not the first challenge, we could have done four or five challenges where we could’ve done better. That’s all, at the end nothing else happened - that’s sport, you have to congratulate and say to Bournemouth ‘well done’, that was really important.
“That’s what I love in sport. You don’t want to be part of it, but if it happens, come on, say what you have to say in this moment and go back to your team, work again on the right things and everything will be good.
“If there’s any influence on the next game? No idea.
“What we will be more than maybe we were before Bournemouth, we will be angry again - angry about ourselves, that’s important. But West Ham will be a really tough challenge. An interesting game.”
LFCTV GO: Watch Jürgen's pre-West Ham press conference in full
‘Angry’ is a term Klopp uses regularly to describe how he wants his team to play.
“In sports, always when you are at the highest level there is not a lot of things that can make the difference,” he explained.
“Sometimes it’s the quality, but not very often, most of the time it’s the attitude because the other team is really well prepared too. A few details make the difference. As I’ve said a lot of time, being aggressive means in my understanding, being ready to hurt yourself, not the other player.
“That’s the kind of angry we need, to be angry doesn’t mean they are responsible for what happened in the last few weeks but they want to have the points at Anfield, and that makes me angry already when I speak about it. That’s all, of course you need it.
“At the highest level, have you ever seen a race where the winner was not this kind of angry in the last few yards? Maybe Usain Bolt can do it, he enjoys it after 80 metres probably!
“But most of all the other sportsmen in life have to fight until the end, and that’s what we have to do each week. That’s what you need, that’s what we will be, 100 per cent.”
On West Ham, who sit 17th in the Premier League having taken just two points from their last five games, Klopp said: “Nobody would have expected that or this situation in the table. The only thing I know is I’ve seen West Ham a lot of times, but the last three games I saw in much more details.
“Injuries, it’s how it is - they all come back when they play against us! But that’s no problem because we want to beat the best West Ham, if you want.
“I think we will face the best West Ham because I’m pretty sure Slaven Bilic today said a lot of injured players are back for the Liverpool clash, so it will be interesting.
“How I said, we will need everyone in the stadium. It’s West Ham and they want to come back on track, they need results, but we need results too and it’s at home, so we have to show the difference.”