Football

Negativity will only fuel Liverpool: Juergen Klopp

Reds have been criticised after failing to win any of their last five league matches

Liverpool may have their backs against the wall in the English Premier League, but the negative coverage of the team will only spur them on to bounce back in the title race, manager Juergen Klopp said yesterday.

The champions are winless in their last five league matches, which has resulted in a slide from the top of the standings to fifth in the league. They were also knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester United last Sunday.

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TOTTENHAM LIVERPOOL

The Reds have not found the net in the league in the past month and Klopp said people were "losing trust and faith" in his attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino far too quickly for his liking.

"I see them working on everything and we're working as a team on solutions. It's a complex game and it's never about one person," Klopp told reporters ahead of their trip to Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

"We have to become the team we want to be and that is the team nobody wants to play against. At the moment, every team is defending deep but we have another chance tomorrow night.

"People tell us we are the best team in the world, which we are not but it's not a problem. We have to prove it again and strike back. The more negative things that are said about us, maybe the more we want it."

The last time these two sides met, they were first and second in the league, but Spurs have also endured a slump to sit one point behind Liverpool with a game in hand.

"Things have changed," Klopp said. "We want to make sure the next month is more positive, but we cannot change last month.

"We played some good stuff against United and we have to be more consistent. We play Tottenham and we have to go game by game. Is it difficult? Yes. That's how it is in every Premier League game."

After Spurs, Liverpool face a daunting run of fixtures, facing three of the top four - West Ham, Manchester City and Leicester City - in their next five league games.

Klopp also spoke about new Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel, who was his successor at Mainz and Borussia Dortmund, saying that Frank Lampard had left him a "present".

Lampard was dismissed on Monday, after a run of five defeats in eight EPL games.

Klopp, who took nearly four years to win his first trophy with Liverpool, sympathised with Lampard, who was only 18 months into the job.

"It's really harsh to make that decision really early," said Klopp. "Mr Abramovich gives you some chances - players, money - but is not the most patient person in the world."

On Tuchel, Klopp said he is a "really good manager", adding: "I know him for a long time, I respect him a lot. This Chelsea squad is a present and I'm pretty sure Thomas sees it like that. They will be good." - AFP, REUTERS

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