Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has backed his side to come back stronger from their agonising penalty shoot-out defeat against Manchester City.
Philippe Coutinho’s 83rd-minute equaliser forced the League Cup final against Manuel Pellegrini’s team into extra-time and penalties, but an inspired performance from Man City’s second-choice goalkeeper Willy Caballero ensured Klopp will have to wait a little bit longer to secure his first piece of silverware as Reds manager.
Klopp said the whole day was “perfect” up until Lucas Leiva, Coutinho and Adam Lallana all missed their spot-kicks, but he called on his team to learn from the experience for when the big occasion comes round again.
“You have to feel a defeat,” said the German. “You cannot say ‘I don’t care, it’s not important’. It was important and we lost, so that feels not too good.
“You always have to strike back. We can say all of these things, but you know you can fall down and then you have to stand up. That’s the truth, but it’s completely normal – only silly idiots stay on the floor and wait for the next defeat.”
“Of course we will strike back – 100 per cent. We struck back today in the game. But for this and the next time we are in a final, you have to feel how it is when you lose.”
Klopp also provided a brief update on defender Mamadou Sakho, who was incredibly frustrated to have been substituted in the first half after a clash of heads with team-mate Can.
The Frenchman looked groggy following the incident, but Klopp revealed his condition has improved since the game ended and said the decision to take him off was the correct one.
“I’m not too sure at this moment, but he looked better after the game. In the situation, we had to make the decision,” he added.
“At half-time, he said it was the right decision but when we took him off he said it was the wrong decision. He had a knock against his head and in this moment you should not ask the player.
“Everybody understood and thought it was better to take him off. He was struggling in this moment and it was not too healthy. We have to see, it’s not a big problem.”