Liverpool have made a habit of responding positively to setbacks in the Premier League this season - and Jürgen Klopp is determined to ensure his side does so again this week.
Saturday’s 2-1 reverse to Manchester United represented only the Reds’ fourth top-flight loss from 30 outings during 2017-18 so far.
October’s defeat to Tottenham Hotspur preceded a 14-game unbeaten streak in the league, and Klopp’s team reeled off four wins and a draw from their five matches in the division following a 1-0 loss at Swansea City in January.
That momentum may have been checked at Old Trafford but, while admitting it will take time to get the weekend’s result out of his system, Klopp will strive to get Liverpool back on track when Watford visit Anfield on Saturday.
“We have to respond, 100 per cent,” the manager told Liverpoolfc.com post-match.
“But in the moment I cannot, and I don’t want to, think about anything else. I still have to work to swallow this one and it’s quite difficult.”
Klopp felt the Reds performed relatively well for the most part against United, but said their good work was undone by the collective errors that aided Marcus Rashford when he scored twice before half-time.
“It’s really difficult to take. The mistakes were obvious - around the second balls we were not there and we cannot leave Dejan alone in the challenge there and nobody’s around for the second ball. It doesn’t work like this,” the boss explained.
“Romelu Lukaku is strong in these challenges, so if you cannot avoid the long ball then you have to be there to help your mate for the second ball. We didn’t, so that was the problem around the two goals [and] they could use these situations.
“Before the two goals, after the two goals, I thought we were dominant. We don’t ignore the goals we conceded, but if you ignore them for a second you would say, ‘OK, that’s how you have to play’.
“Don’t take too much risk, you pass, you come around the touchline, you have the crosses, you have the set-pieces, you have the finishes from distance, 18 yards, all these things. We had these things in pretty much all moments, but we didn’t score.
“Because we put pressure on ourselves obviously, that is not helpful for your confidence if you are 2-0 down at Manchester. So we passed, crossed a few balls that were not too good but [then] we found our way back on track minute by minute and second half we chased the game really.
“I think we deserved the goal and then it was the situation with the best piece of football in the whole game, the one-two between Roberto and Sadio and a clear foul and no penalty. That’s hard, but not to change anymore.
“I think with all the minutes around the two goals we conceded then a draw would have been deserved for us, but because we made these two mistakes we have to take the result like it is.
“It feels massively rubbish and that’s not nice. We will carry on of course, but in the moment it’s a big disappointment.”