Jürgen Klopp on Wolves in the FA Cup, responding, solutions and more

Press conferenceJürgen Klopp on Wolves in the FA Cup, responding, solutions and more

Published 16th January 2023
By Glenn Price and Peter Lennox

Jürgen Klopp previewed Liverpool's Emirates FA Cup third-round replay at Wolverhampton Wanderers with a press conference on Monday.

The Reds boss answered reporters' questions at the AXA Training Centre ahead of his side's trip to Molineux. 

Read on to see what he had to say about another meeting with Julen Lopetegui's men, responding to the disappointment of the weekend and more. 

On having time to reflect on the loss at Brighton & Hove Albion...

Jürgen Klopp on Reds' team selection plans v Wolves
16th January 2023

Press conferenceJürgen Klopp on Reds' team selection plans v WolvesLiverpool are set to make changes to the starting line-up for Tuesday’s Emirates FA Cup third-round replay at Wolverhampton Wanderers, Jürgen Klopp has confirmed.

Losing a game in the way we lost it is already bad enough, but then facing all of you doesn't make life better, to be honest! Not because the questions were especially bad or whatever – I understand all the questions, really – but just because directly after something like this, being in a situation [where] you give answers, is really, really difficult – believe me. Especially the answers people want to hear. Of course, two days after now, everything looks different. It doesn't make the game better but obviously the next game is waiting, and that's the good thing in our life that there's always the next chance. That's what we are preparing for. The issues we had in that game were obvious and I explained it already, parts of it at least after, that we try to find a different organisation and that didn't work out. In the end, it was not executed well enough, definitely, but there might be a reason for it that we didn't explain it well enough. That's it. 

On how to get the best out of the team...

Some things slightly different, some things the same and again. That's how you do it, that's how you deal with situations. The good thing about a long career – what I obviously had – is it's not the first time that I'm in a situation like that, I'm sorry to say that but it's the truth. When things don't go well, the players look different, the view on us is different all of a sudden, people start discussing – it's completely normal. But in the end, I said it before, these are football problems and you sort them with football. And to play better football than we did at Brighton should not be that difficult. That's the first step. We have to be compact, we have to defend. The pitch in too many moments looks too big when we are defending, and that's nothing to do with the pitch because we know how big it is. It's just the way we defend and these kind of things. But you always do it, you always go back to basics – that's what you have to do. And from there you can make steps and that's what we will do. But we have to be more compact – not only tomorrow – and that's 100 per cent clear. All the success in football starts with solid defending and that's what we have to do.

Inside Anfield: Liverpool 2-2 Wolves

On how important Liverpool’s togetherness will be to improving results…

So there's always the question, what's first there – team spirit or success? When you become successful, I'm 100 per cent sure it always comes [because of] the spirit first. But maybe there are some [other] examples, I was never involved in them where it was different. There are no issues or whatever. The boys are good with each other, we are good with each other. That doesn't mean I cannot be harsh, that doesn’t mean they cannot be clear in what they want from each other and stuff like this. All of these things happen, it's clear. Thank God nothing happens outside the dressing room or stuff like this. That would be really bad if then, all of a sudden, you have to explain these kind of things. So far we are at least good with that.

We are very clear with ourselves. We don’t hide – neither information, nor ourselves. That's it. But we have to admit that too often this season we didn't play to our potential. That’s the truth. We had games where we played really well, but obviously not often enough to be really successful. That’s where we want to go again because we cannot and don't want to turn time back to start again and say, 'Come on, we have to start at nil.' It's not nil but we have to start again because it's all situations. 

So, we were not compact in the game against Brighton obviously. And then you saw other situations where some players still tried to press, but the formation was absolutely not there because the last line didn’t push anymore, because we left them alone a lot and then they don’t come up and, all of a sudden, one Brighton player turns and it looks like there's no Liverpool player around. That’s why I said I never saw a game like this. And that is something we have to change. It has to be absolutely more difficult to get out of any situation against us. I am pretty sure we will see glimpses of that tomorrow night and then we will go from there.

On Wolves potentially being out to 'prove a point'...

Of course, that's how cup competitions are. Maybe they still have the goal in mind, I'm not sure, but we have nothing to do with the goal. It's not that we said there was no goal but it might be extra motivation, I don't know. But they were good and it's a home game now. In these situations now, the easiest explanation is always to try to bring yourself in the position of the opponent the other way around – they come here. Yes, we would be on our toes, they will be on their toes. Completely normal.

On tactical switches he may consider making…

We have a lot of things to consider. Of course, we have two senior strikers available, if you want, the rest are midfielders, so how can you set that up? That's one thing. How you can bring them in the best position? It was actually the real intention because we played at Brighton, in a really good moment, how you can help them with defending, that they're in the right place and stuff like this? That’s what we thought and that didn't work out obviously. But yes, we have to find solutions, that’s clear. We have to find them for a few weeks still, I think. That's what we do pretty much every day.

Published 16th January 2023