Jürgen Klopp: Liverpool's defence is good enough, but we need to prove we can fix mistakes

Jürgen Klopp still believes in the quality of his Liverpool defence although they conceded four on a chastening afternoon at Tottenham Hotspur and challenged them to prove their quality.

Jürgen Klopp: Liverpool's defence is good enough, but we need to prove we can fix mistakes
(Picture: Getty Images/Craig Mercer - CameraSport)

Jürgen Klopp insists Liverpool still have the defensive ability to challenge at the top end of the table but admits his team need to be able to show it after they made it "too easy" for Tottenham Hotspur.

The Reds' trip to Wembley Stadium ended in bitter disappointment as Mauricio Pochettino's side ran rampant, winning 4-1, and left them 12 points behind league leaders Manchester City and sat ninth in the Premier League table.

Spurs' front two of Harry Kane and Heung-min Son both scored inside the first 12 minutes in the capital, a combination of errors allowing Spurs to steal an easy lead. 

Though Mohamed Salah reduced the arrears for the visitors, Dele Alli's edge-of-the-box volley on the stroke of half-time - again a preventable goal - ended the game.

Kane then scored a second before the hour with yet more sloppy defending from the visitors to blame, this time goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, as they proved the masters of their own downfall.

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"Reds' defence is good enough, we just need to show it"

Speaking to the press afterwards, Klopp - when asked if his side can defend well enough to challenge for a top-four finish - said: "Yes, but I really don't have to talk about top-four today. We are ninth and we have the worst statistics since 1964 – I can't believe it.

"We are where we are, so we deserve that. If Tottenham needed to be genius to come through then we don’t have to talk. But if you make these easy mistakes? 

"Yes, of course, the last line is involved, but then also central midfield is involved.

"Quality is obviously a mix of potential, attitude, mentality and all that stuff and we don't show it consistently enough. That's the truth. I will never give up working on that.

"Sometimes the most obvious mistakes are the easiest mistakes to fix, but it is obviously not the moment to say, 'Yes, we will fix it', we have to prove we will fix it.

"It was too easy for Tottenham today, much too easy. After 2-1, everybody saw, this game could change, but unfortunately we were the other team so it was not possible today. Our fault."

The German also denied that attitude or mentality was an issue after having put seven past Maribor in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

"Did the boys want it? Yes. I would say 100 per cent yes, you could see it. Even when we were 4-1 down, we had moments," felt Klopp.

"We improved in a few situations in the game. For Tottenham, it was quite intense as well, they were not that clear anymore in a lot of situations.

"But actually, to be honest, I don't want to say anything positive about us today. But it's not attitude. It’s not that the boys thought 'seven in Maribor and now we will carry on like this without doing anything'.

"That's not how the team is. I said it a few times today, whatever you [journalists] say about us in a negative way today, you are right. We were wrong."

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Klopp promises Liverpool will fix their defensive problems 

The Liverpool manager vowed to ensure that his team work on cutting out conceding such avoidable goals but dismissed the idea that his back-line simply aren't up to standard.

On what his side must do to improve, Klopp simply said: "We have to prove that we are better defenders than we showed today, than we showed in another game."

He admitted that Liverpool's poor goals against column is partly due to their "three unbelievably big scoresheets with Watford, City and today" which alone is "12 goals."

"That's crazy," he declared. "You don't have to talk about quality; if they didn't have quality, they would not be involved in the squad of Liverpool, 100 per-cent.

"Sometimes things that you [the press] talk a lot about – and we talked about from the first match-day pretty much – they happen still, but the only way to fix it is to stay strong and work on it.

"These goals today, I said it, the first goal would not happen if I am on the pitch. It would not happen. [Even] if I am in trainers. Harry can't get the ball because it was an open ball. We were there, we had more players than Tottenham, but they came through.

"Was it perfect play of Tottenham? No. Was it a little bit lucky? Yes. Do we need be prepared for a situation like this? Yes, and we are usually.

"Everything is clear, each job is clear, but we didn't do it. Now I cannot fix it here but we will fix it."