Jurgen Klopp was probed about his side’s defending from set pieces on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, admitting they can ‘adapt’ better to situations.
Jamie Carragher pointed out that Liverpool have conceded 49 goals in that period (10th in the PL), 15 goals conceded from set-pieces (18th in the PL) and just 8 clean sheets (12th in the PL) since his appointment.
“There’s still a lot of work to do!
“49! That’s a big number. That number from set-pieces isn’t good. It’s an issue for us. Not a big one this year as we’ve done much better but of course it doesn’t feel good against Hull when they have no chances and you give a goal away like we did.
“When I came in we had to change a few things and formations and we played against some specialists from set-pieces – West Brom, Palace, West Ham.
“It’s more about how we react in the moment. We’ve found a formation now where we feel more comfortable.”
— This Is Anfield (@thisisanfield) September 26, 2016
Klopp then discussed the goal they conceded against Hull City at the weekend in the Reds’ 5-1 victory.
“This game was a classic one for losing a bit of concentration. We were so good in this game. It’s an in-swinger but we don’t really adapt. We have an in-swinger formation.
“We are a bit too close to our goal with their targets around the six-yard line.
“Gini has to block it but that means these players (Klavan and Firmino) need to be closer to the situation. If Gini has to block the player, the others should get the ball.
“We don’t have the tallest team in the league. I need to make them taller! We don’t have the physical quality for set-piece defending so we need to find creative solutions like Wijnaldum blocking.
“Henderson and Lallana have to block and the rest, our best headers, have to be in the situation. But for that goal we only watched the ball, we weren’t really in the situation.”
Klopp gave a rather frank assessment of his playing days, in which he made 325 league appearances and scored 52 goals for Mainz.
“[I was] Very average. I was really quick, a good header. That was it. On the ground wasn’t my biggest strength. I loved the game too much to stop but it wouldn’t have been too bad for most of the teams I played in.
“One of best things I did in my manager career was to decide that I wouldn’t play any more. That helped the team a lot.”
Presenter David Jones asked Jurgen Klopp what made him want to become a coach.
“When you are a Second Division player in Germany you don’t earn enough money.
“I am not the smartest guy in the world but not too silly. I could have had a decent career in something else but I loved the game too much and wanted to be part of it.
“I knew if someone gave me an opportunity to coach a team, it would be better than me playing for a team. Even at 26 if someone had said ‘come on, do you want to be a coach?’ I’d have done it. It finally happened when I was 33.”