Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists even the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are not immune to trust issues as he tries to find a solution to his side’s inconsistency.
Saturday’s 3-3 home draw with Brighton, down from 2-0 to 3-2, was an example of the general uneasiness sweeping the side.
Klopp remains patient but knows Tuesday’s Champions League home game against Rangers has become a key game, having already lost once in Group A.
“People can ask how it happened that these players are not full of confidence?” said the German.
“Do you think Cristiano Ronaldo (who has been reduced to a reserve role at Manchester United) is at the peak of his confidence at this moment? He was always the best player in the world and now it’s out of his hands and it’s not exactly the same. It happens to all of us.
“Lionel Messi played last season (his first at Paris St. Germain) where it wasn’t exactly the same because things like that are really important to all of us and you have to work for them.
“You have to take the little things to take a step in the right direction and really be ready for the moment when it’s back and we’re doing that.”
Klopp has indicated they were unable to build momentum due to factors beyond their control.
They bounced back from a humiliating 4-1 defeat in Napoli to beat Ajax in the next game with an 89th-minute winner, but then three weeks without a game meant the positive aspects of that win were lost.
Klopp experienced a similar dip in form the penultimate season when he lost all three first-choice centre-backs to injury and it took the side four months from January to May to get back on track and secure an unlikely place in the top four.
There was some leeway on that occasion to accommodate the changes, but the compact schedule they face means there is no time to pursue the same policy and Klopp hasn’t ruled out a short-term solution just to get them to get it running again.
“No, we don’t have time. Yes, we can improve. We can play the same and do better, that’s a solution,” he added.
“Patience isn’t 100 percent the right word, but we have to be patient to keep doing the right thing until it works again, and then we’re fine.
“We can’t always start something completely new, but if we can help the lads defend differently, we will do it.
“It’s the same job I had in the period when you win 10 or 12 games in a row, you have to see the big picture and work on the details. We’re doing that now, just with a different level of trust.
“Usually in a period where you win a lot of games things don’t go the way you want but there are no repercussions – we may have made a mistake but nobody thinks about it. It’s different at the moment.
“We need to increase the number of good moments and decrease the number of less-than-good moments until you can make mistakes again and they aren’t as effective as they are right now.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/jurgen-klopp-lionel-messi-people-liverpool-paris-st-germain-b2191603.html Jurgen Klopp urges Liverpool improvement but says confidence is the big factor in poor results