Jurgen Klopp has brushed off criticism of his Liverpool squad after a youthful side was comfortably beaten at Swansea City on Sunday.
Klopp named Liverpool’s youngest ever Premier League line-up at the Liberty Stadium as he took the opportunity to rest key personnel ahead of Thursday’s Europa League semi-final second leg against Villarreal.
Spanish midfielder Pedro Chirivella made his league debut and there were also starts for fellow teenager Sheyi Ojo, Brad Smith and second-choice goalkeeper Danny Ward, as Klopp sent out a side with an average age of 23 years and 218 days.
But it proved a tough afternoon for Liverpool with the ineffective Chirivella replaced at half-time and Smith sent off in the second half for two bookable offences.
“I can’t change my mind every two days like you can (about the strength of the squad),” Klopp said after making eight changes from the side which lost 1-0 to Villarreal in Spain last week.
“After Bournemouth, after Stoke, after these games, everybody said ‘oh my God, how good are these young players?’
“They are good, but that is how it is – life as a professional football player is not always a honeymoon.
“You have to prove, you have to deliver. It did not work too well, but it is not a problem for the future, it is only a problem for today.
“A result or a game like this would only be completely senseless if you do not use the information for the future – and that’s what we will do for sure.
“It’s not about the squad or something, it’s only about this performance.”
Swansea’s win inflicted successive defeats on Klopp for the first time in his seven months at Liverpool.
But Klopp insists his side are fine ahead of the Villarreal return at Anfield and a game which could define their season.
“Maybe this performance was influenced by the number of games we have had,” he said.
“I’m not too much interested in that because I can’t change it, but hopefully we have influence on the number of games we will have in the future.
“Ten days ago we were in brilliant shape and now we are not in bad shape.”