Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Hull City and Liverpool at the KCOM Stadium in Kingston upon Hull, north east England on February 4, 2017. PHOTO: Lindsey PARNABY / AFP
Jurgen Klopp said faltering Liverpool must take the blame for their performances after a 2-0 defeat at lowly Hull added to their miserable run.
The German boss said the Reds have got to turn words into actions after failing to win any of their five league games this year — the first time that has happened since 1954.
Klopp said there has got to be an immediate change to reach the “big, big target” of the Champions League.
Liverpool’s only victory in the last 10 matches in all competitions came in an FA Cup replay at fourth tier Plymouth.
More damning, Saturday’s loss at Hull means the relegation-threatened hosts joined a list that features Burnley, Swansea and Bournemouth among clubs to have inflicted league defeats on Liverpool this season.
In contrast, Liverpool have the best record in the Premier League when playing sides currently in the top six.
“We have to take all the criticism from everywhere,” said Klopp when asked if he thought there was a flaw in his team’s attitude.
“I don’t think there is. I don’t want to give an answer now, but from outside, I can understand why you ask that if we have that record we have against those teams and another record against other teams.
“I know the boys, I see them every day and I don’t see this during the week but I understand how you could see it like this from outside.
“We expect more from ourselves and we have to show more than we did today and it’s my responsibility to make it possible for the players to show more than we showed today.
“We didn’t show the right mood. I don’t know if it was attitude, but all football performances are a mixture of everything – confidence, attitude, passion, a lot of things.
“But the only answer we can give is on the pitch, I can’t give you an answer here, now.”
– Big target –
Liverpool have long since abandoned hopes of catching runaway leaders Chelsea at the top of the Premier League but, on current form, even a top-four finish and place in next season’s Champions League looks beyond them.
“The title is not my biggest problem,” Klopp said. “I want to play much better football with my team.
“But it’s not about talking about where we want to be. We have to show it. We have shown it a few times this season but obviously it is a long time since we showed it consistently.
“That’s what we have to change immediately. The Champions League is an outstanding, big, big target.
“So many teams want to play there but to qualify for the Champions League from England is difficult. But on performances like today, we don’t have to talk about this.”
Two Senegalese players signed on loan during the January transfer window – Villarreal forward Alfred N’Diaye and Oumar Niasse from Liverpool’s rivals Everton – scored the goals late in each half.
The victory continued the remarkable improvement shown by Hull under new manager Marco Silva who, in addition to drawing at Manchester United in the league in midweek, has now won all four of his home league and cup games.
“Of course it is a very good result and gives us confidence – it shows this is the right way,” Silva said.
“The players believe in our way and how we work because if they don’t it is impossible.
“When I came the atmosphere was maybe not the best, the team was in last position in table. In the first match I didn’t see our fans in our stadium and today I did – it was a fantastic atmosphere.
“If all the people believe it is possible we can change. It’s important we play and work as a team.”