Football

Klopp: We look for solutions, not excuses

Despite wretched run, Liverpool boss insists Reds will bounce back

After a miserable start to 2017, Liverpool are in a sorry state ahead of Tottenham Hotspur's visit in the Premier League tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

They have won only one of their last 10 matches, were knocked out of both domestic cups in the space of four days and slipped out of the top four after last weekend's 2-0 loss at strugglers Hull City.

It has been some fall for Juergen Klopp's side, who briefly topped the table in November but now find themselves 13 points behind leaders Chelsea and four adrift of second-placed Tottenham.

The embattled German remains convinced that his work at Liverpool is a long-term project as he jokingly addressed his side's form ahead of the Spurs clash.

BATTERY NOT FLAT

As a journalist's device bleeped next to him at a pre-match press conference yesterday, he warned the watching media that someone's phone was struggling for battery, but then claimed: "Ours are not!"

"We are still convinced that this is a long-term project," he said. "The players learn, but it's my job to bring them into the right situation.

"I don't question everything (after a defeat). Everything is easier when you win a game, but the job is still the same.

"My job is never easy, but it's always easy to enjoy.

"It's football, every situation is a challenge. If you are in a good place you have to stay there, if you are not you have to solve problems immediately.

"We don't look for excuses, we look for solutions. Just because you aren't flying, it doesn't mean you can't win the next game.

"You always have to win the next game. The next game is Tottenham."

Liverpool have taken 13 points from a possible 21 against top-six teams, a record Klopp is keen to improve against a Spurs side who are unbeaten in nine Premier League games.

"Our record should be better," Klopp added.

"We know we can do a lot of good things still, but we have to show it on the pitch.

"Against a team like Tottenham, we need everything.

"If we play like we did in the first half against Hull - no chance. If we play like we did in that second half, then (we have a) better chance, but we want better.

"I don't think too much about other teams. Things like this (Spurs' good run) happen."

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino is aware of the need to keep picking up points in the hope that Antonio Conte's Chelsea falter, but he is not taking Liverpool's poor run for granted.

"If we win, it will be important, to help us keep putting pressure on Chelsea," he said.

"It's not decisive, but it's important. I'm not thinking about the top of the table. That's not the problem today.

"They are not in a good run, but they have very good players, one of the best squads in England and Europe.

"They will be motivated as this is always a big match. It will be a very tough game. We are not the only realistic challengers.

"We are a contender, but there are a lot of contenders. A nine-point tally is a massive gap, but it's not decisive." - WIRE SERVICES

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