Press conferenceJürgen Klopp assesses Southampton 4-4 Liverpool and season overall

By James Carroll and Joe Urquhart at St Mary's


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Jürgen Klopp believes Liverpool have given themselves a good basis for what they must do moving forward after they brought their Premier League campaign to a close at Southampton on Sunday.

The Reds played out an eight-goal contest on the south coast, claiming a point at St Mary's Stadium on the final day with a 4-4 draw.

Diogo Jota struck twice against Saints, alongside efforts from Roberto Firmino - who started his final Liverpool game - and substitute Cody Gakpo.

Klopp gave his reaction to the game, the season overall and more in his post-match media briefing. Read a summary below...

Southampton 4-4 Liverpool: Highlights

On what he made of the game...

A top start, outstanding finish [and] in between... Let me start with the most important [thing], I really thought and felt from the first second today [that] Southampton is a really good club. When you see the people when you've been relegated, which is obviously the worst thing you want to happen, and the atmosphere is like the atmosphere was like today then, I have to say, it is pretty special. I liked it a lot. Then we are 2-0 up and we knew the Southampton players want to pay back to these people - and we let them. We just opened the door for a really talented, offensive team - the counter-attack with the speed they have. You can make a list of things we weren't and that led to the counter-attacks they had. They scored the goals and it's 2-2, then 4-2 and then we started doing the right things again. All of a sudden we did what we wanted to do in the second half from the start. Then it was more than spectacular, I think we could have scored a fifth and a sixth, and they had another counter-attack, [but] how I said: top start, outstanding finish, in between just silly.

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On the 2022-23 season being over...

There were moments in the season where you thought the season would be four years long. Thank God [for] the last 10 or 12 games. I am not sure how long we didn't lose for... 11 games, so that helped massively, gave us a real boost, gave us perspective and gave us a basis for what we have to do. That it didn't turn into the best ever season, we see that, we know that, we are very disappointed about the fact we didn't make it into the top four, but there are moments when you have to admit there are four teams that were better than us. That's the truth.

We played a bad season and we came fifth, that is a message as well. Imagine we are more our normal self, which we absolutely will be again next season, then we will be a contender again. The last 10, 11 games helped us to realise that again because before then from a consistency point of view [it was] a season very difficult to understand. We understood how we came into the situation, but there were so many moments when we thought we'd sorted it now and then a week later we saw not yet. That was the problem and that's it. It's over and now we can start preparing for the future.

On what he has learned from the season overall...

There's not a lot to learn. But what is to learn from is that I think in a lot of clubs, when the expectations are as high as our club - rightly so - when things don't go well, pretty quickly [it] starts with blaming each other, stuff like this, that didn't happen here. I thought really, especially last week, didn't need that now, but last week you could see [from] the goodbye [that] our people are more than just with us. They are still completely behind us. I like that a lot. There was nothing really, there are some things we can use as well, I said a couple of times the better you behave in a crisis the better you get out of it. I really thought that was the case for us. We are really, really not happy about it.

Obviously for a club like us it's massive not to qualify for the Champions League, I have to say, but in the next few years you can see how many teams are playing for that now and have probably the right to want to be in it. It will not be easy, but we still have to do it and that's what we will try with all we have. If we improve, all of a sudden we are again a team nobody really wants to play against, so that's what we have to become again. There were a lot of games in the season I think teams were happy to face us now and that's actually the worst thing that can happen to you and I hated these moments. But that's over now and now let's start again.

On whether he thinks his team will be better after a break...

We all need a bit of luck. Today we could see the influence of Diogo Jota, not available for most of the season. Luis Diaz, not available for most of the season. Cody Gakpo, only came in the winter. Bobby Firmino, not available for big parts of the season. Darwin Nunez [is] completely new. All of a sudden we have to be a dominant team, teams are waiting for us when we arrive there, we couldn't sort it as good as we wanted. That's how it started. From that moment on we never calmed it down in the right way to be early enough, let me say it like this, because if we would have started this serious now four [or] five weeks earlier, we still could have qualified for the Champions League, which, [when] we are not brilliant, would've been outstanding. So, we know the reasons why it happened. We expect from ourselves to solve it quicker, but we work with human beings and sometimes it takes a bit longer.

On whether he needs a break himself...

No, not at all. Honestly, I'm completely fine. If you would have asked me 11 games ago if you want to have a break I would have probably thought about it, to be honest. But I'm absolutely fine... I don't have a break. I don't have training [or] these kind of things. A really busy period hopefully starts now as well in a different area of the game. I'm more than happy to do that and I will find time to re-energise and then we start again in July.

On a record number of Premier League goals over the course of a season and what he puts it down to...

Usually you concede. The big scorelines are when the teams are not good [at] defending. I think that was the reason today. Both teams were not really good in defending. Both teams could have scored more goals. In general I think we all want to see that, as a neutral I want to see it as well, to be honest. Today I would've loved to see a few less, but that's absolutely OK. It's the quality. If you don't defend on top of your game then you will get smashed in this league. Let me say it like this, we saw today, it's not my job to analyse the Southampton season, but I saw a lot of games and I liked what I saw; really talented team.

In the end, if the defending is not 100 per cent right, you suffer. We saw today the same, we saw how skilled they are, my god. The kids came on, I'm not sure if they are shaving their face already, they're really young, and then give them a little bit of space and they go through. They have speed, they have technique and so many skills, but in the end it's all about scoring more than the opponent. That's not always possible and that's why you would like to not concede that many. The league is really good, I have to say, and that's probably the main reason for it.



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