Jürgen Klopp has explained how the reaction of Liverpool supporters inside Old Trafford following the defeat to Manchester United last weekend gave him ‘one of the strongest feelings’ he’s had as manager.
Despite dominating the second half as they looked to recover from a two-goal deficit, the Reds succumbed to a 2-1 loss at the home of their rivals, who moved five points ahead in second place in the Premier League table.
Nevertheless, the 3,000-plus visiting supporters inside the stadium were loud and proud after the final whistle, embarking on a lengthy rendition of popular new chant ‘Allez, Allez, Allez’.
And their defiance didn’t go unnoticed inside the Liverpool dressing room.
Writing in his Watford programme notes for ‘This is Anfield’, Klopp said: “Maybe it feels strange talking about how positive I am about where we are, given our last result was a defeat at Manchester United. But I think I learned as much about us last Saturday at Old Trafford than at any other point this season. Just to be clear: losing there was a hugely disappointing situation and as always I take all the responsibility for it.
“But what I saw on the pitch, in the dressing room at the end, and in the away section, proves categorically we are in a very good way. From half-time onwards I saw the Liverpool that I have always wanted to see since I came here. A sense of defiance on and off the pitch, a determination to show our quality, a willingness to fight for this club and all that it stands for, a refusal to just accept defeat and a unity between players and supporters that made me even more proud to be Liverpool manager.
“Unfortunately we could not alter the result – we had given ourselves too much to do in the first half and I repeat again, for that I take full responsibility – but we showed our character and our togetherness and as disappointed as we all were to lose such a big game we can still draw strength from everything that happened after the first 45 minutes of the match.
“I always go to thank the fans for their support after every game but at Old Trafford my gratitude was even stronger than usual. That was because the 3,000 Liverpool supporters in a crowd of almost 75,000 had somehow made themselves sound like there were 10 times as many in the away end. We heard them before the game, we heard them during the game and, most importantly of all, we heard them after the game when we needed them most.
“To hear them singing so loudly after the game had been lost gave me one of the strongest feelings I have had since I came here as manager. As well as pride at representing people who support Liverpool in this way, I also felt a powerful responsibility to bring them the success that they deserve. This is something that I feel every day and it will never go away but at that moment it felt as strong as ever. All of this is because the club is in a good way.”
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