Jürgen Klopp has explained why Liverpool’s team meeting following defeat at Watford on Saturday was little different to any other post-match debrief.

The Reds’ 44-game unbeaten run in the Premier League was halted by a 3-0 reversal at Vicarage Road, though they remain 22 points clear at the division’s summit.

Speaking with journalists, Klopp offered some insight into the discussions he held with his squad on Sunday in the analysis session that takes place after every fixture at Melwood, regardless of the result, and detailed why he’s in no doubt they will react positively to the weekend’s setback.

Focus now turns to FA Cup action on Tuesday night with a fifth-round tie against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and ahead of the clash, the manager addressed reporters during a pre-match press conference.

Read on for a summary of what he had to say…

On whether losing the unbeaten record will lift some pressure off the team…

Look, it’s a bit difficult, I don’t know 100 per cent what I said after the game, but the fact is I go in the dressing room and then go out and people confront me, like always, with questions which I didn’t think about the answers for a second before. I say the things I say – and if I would say from now we can play free football again, that would mean I felt we couldn’t do that before. I didn’t feel that, to be honest. Would we have loved to win game No.19? Yes, absolutely, but when you don’t win it – and we know how difficult it is – you cannot make it bigger than all the rest. We just lost a football game and whenever that happens it feels really average, really, really bad, and that’s how we felt. But it is not that we are now relieved from all the pressure around and from now we can focus on football again. We didn’t feel that much under pressure, it was just an answer without really long thinking before it. Sorry!

On whether Takumi Minamino might start at Chelsea…

We have to make a decision: do we talk about the line-up or not? I decided we don’t talk about the line-up and that means we cannot talk about single players. All fit players are in contention – that obviously includes Taki as well. If you tell me the Chelsea line-up, I will give you our line-up. I don’t want to gamble with it or whatever, line-ups are decisive and as long as we don’t know anything about the opponent, we cannot give anything away. That’s how it is.

On whether Liverpool will place greater focus on cup competitions given the size of their lead at the top of the Premier League table…

I’m not sure if you saw that in the past but we go really hard in all our games. If you invest 100 per cent, how can you invest more? Can I take a risk with a player who played on Saturday and I have all the little information from everywhere for this game? No, I can’t. If I think a player played now games X, Y or Z, so now I think for this game we need another option for the position then I will do it because I want to win this game. Not because I don’t take this game so serious and think, ‘It is only the FA Cup and it’s at Chelsea and we will lose anyway’ or whatever. We are not like this, so we just try to do our best all the time. Sometimes you see that and sometimes you maybe don’t see it, but it doesn’t mean before the game we thought it was not so important.

We cannot fight more for the cup competitions than we do already. One cup competition we proved it in the last at least couple of years, that we take it really serious, was the Champions League. The FA Cup, nothing to do [with not taking it seriously], that we didn’t want to go to the final, it was just because of draws, performances. Team selections, they were always reasonable, there was always a good reason for it and what can I say? Now we lost the game [against Watford] and we cannot be ‘invincible’ and that’s done, so it means from now on we could lose one or two Premier League games? I don’t understand that, I cannot do that. We play Chelsea with all we have and then Bournemouth with all we have. Then Atletico with all we have. With 100 per cent and nothing else, that’s us. What we really blame ourselves for is that you didn’t see that on Saturday, we didn’t see it. That’s where we are really critical with ourselves, but that doesn’t mean from now on we will not be doing it anymore. That’s what we want to be, we want to be very, very intense in a good way. That’s what we try tomorrow night.

On whether Liverpool will take on a different Chelsea to the one they faced at the start of the season…

I don’t know. Do I prefer a flying, full of confidence Chelsea? Or a Chelsea with a super squad wanting to strike back? I think both games would be difficult and so, I don’t know exactly if they have problems, what they are about and stuff like this. What I’m concerned about is the way they play, what they do usually, because in analysis we cannot involve things like ‘In the moment these things are really clicking for them, so we have to make sure we don’t let them shoot from 40 yards’ or ‘They are not good in this in the moment’ because it is not like this. If we make mistakes in the last game then we try to fix them immediately, so why should we not expect other teams to try to do that as well? Analysis is a more overall view, ‘what is Chelsea doing?’, and that’s what we prepare for. We’re not considering the situation there. It will be difficult. If Chelsea would be flying and have 20 points more it would be incredibly difficult, or when they are in the situation where it’s not going their way all the time and they want to strike back, that makes it difficult as well. Stamford Bridge is just a place that can be tough and we are looking forward to the game. Maybe Frank [Lampard] today will get the question if he is happy we lost the last game and now thinks we want to strike back or whatever; it’s exactly the same question and I am not sure if he has an answer. If he has one, tell me and I will take it for next time.

On whether he has watched back Saturday’s defeat at Watford…

Yes, it didn’t get better! The result was the same! I watched it at home. It depends on the game. I always have a meeting the next day. Directly after the game I have a meeting with the boys, a little one, and then the next morning I tell the boys what I saw, what I think about what I saw and stuff like this. This game was an important one to watch just to understand what happened there. It was helpful to see it again. It can happen that I get angry with the players but I didn’t in this meeting. Look, from a common sense point of view, if I go in that meeting and shout at them like they have lost the last 10 games in a row because of a bad attitude, that would be really strange. I am not interested after a meeting that I feel better, I’m interested in the boys getting the right information. It can be more or less emotion – I would not say ‘angry’. If you need analysis then you need analysis and analysis is not really emotional, it is just looking at the facts.

The situation we are in is special and who can give us advice? Could I say, ‘That’s the way to deal with it because I was in the situation 20 times and we always dealt with it like this and it worked out’? No, because I was never in a situation like this. We came through an incredibly long period with incredible performances, sensational football, wonderful goals, great success until this point. I didn’t want it to happen now, but then if it is in a year and happens then, it is the same situation just later. There’s a reason for losing a football game and I prefer to see the reason than not knowing why. It was not that the fortunes changed or whatever, or destiny wants to give us a knock, we were just not good enough. That’s the easy answer and that filled a lot of information with what the boys get because we don’t want to now stick to thinking about that game for too long. The plan of the meeting when the next game is waiting is that after the meeting, we can really finish this game with all the things we said and all the things we thought. Then, from that moment on, the plan is to focus on the next game again. For this, it is important I saw it and that’s why I watched it again.

On the reaction of the players following the analysis meeting…

There was no applause, I don’t get applause in meetings! That means then I don’t know [what the players’ reaction was]. They don’t come to me and tell me, ‘That was a great meeting, Boss’ or whatever. How could now I think these boys sit there and are happy that they lost? Of course they want to strike back. This is an exceptional group of players, they did outstanding stuff. Not that night – I can neither ignore the game we played at Watford or the rest we did before. Through the whole period when we didn’t lose a game, these meetings happen anyway and I told the boys, ‘This was not OK, this was not OK, that’s what we have to improve, that’s what we have to improve and for the next game we need to improve that immediately otherwise we will get punished.’ They reacted really well. If they didn’t react well in the beginning of the game, then during the game they learn from it and all that stuff.

How can I sit there now and think, ‘Are you really responding?’ If we respond we have to show tomorrow night, but we play against Chelsea and can I think that now, just because we want to respond, that we shoot Chelsea out of their own stadium? No. It will be a tough game, it would have been anyway. If we had beaten Watford, Chelsea would have been a tough game. We lost against Watford and Chelsea will be a tough game. After that, Bournemouth, tough game; they played really well and could have won their last one against Chelsea. They did really well, they will come to us and they will want to beat us. Surprise. I am not a little bit in doubt about the character of the boys. I would be a real idiot if I would be, to be honest, because they deserve my trust, my faith, and they don’t lose it after a bad game.

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