Klopp keen not to repeat ‘horror show’ as Reds face Brighton and Hove Albion in cup

Posted On 27 Jan 2023 at 10:55 pm

Liverpool’s 3-0 defeat against Brighton and Hove Albion a fortnight ago was a “horror show” – and Reds manager Jurgen Klopp has no intention of reliving it.

His side return this weekend for their FA Cup fourth round tie and Klopp hopes to avoid a repeat of what he called the worst performance of his managerial career.

His side were run ragged by a much more dynamic and incisive Seagulls side but Klopp does not plan to use their previous failure as motivation to prove a point.

Asked whether he would refer to that performance with his players, he said: “Not on a daily basis but, yes, of course we had intense talks after the Brighton game.

“We had to change immediately and we did. A couple of days later we played Wolves and we looked a different team. I said it looked like two completely different sports.

“But I will not do a meeting where I show all bad situations from Brighton. It would be a proper horror show and we saw that already. We played it and saw it after.

“If there is anything good about it, it felt that bad for the players as well that everyone was clear about it.

“It is about general change and improvement of different things. We can lose a game and we did that and if you don’t learn from it, it is just a defeat. If you learn from it, it is important as well and we tend to do things like that.”

What Klopp appeared to learn about it was that his tired-looking midfield needed a shake-up.

As a result, he fielded a previously untried trio of 18-year-old Stefan Bajcetic, Naby Keita and Thiago Alcantara for the third round replay at Wolves and the Premier League match at home to Chelsea.

The changes, which included leaving captain Jordan Henderson and Fabinho on the bench, were rewarded with two clean sheets.

Speaking about his selection, Klopp said: “We had injuries after Brighton or little niggles so it was clear we had to change anyway and then I liked the rhythm and the mix of offensive things and defensive readiness.

“It was not the three alone because the three alone can do nothing but the front line did really good as well – and that is really important to us.

“With Brighton a lot of things are clear and you have to respect that and defend that. If you don’t do that, then you are screwed.

Jurgen Klopp – Picture by Nick Potts / PA

“The midfield three, it just worked well for these games. We will see who will start on Sunday.

“The midfielders, they train and all show up and obviously all want to play and my job is to make a decision and see how it works best and then we have five opportunities to change.

“We have six, seven midfielders in top shape, perfect situation in our system and only three can start – but you cannot make mistakes with line-ups. That is the situation I want to be in again.”

Reds forward Fabio Carvalho has not trained this week because of a minor injury and is unlikely to feature.

And centre-back Nat Phillips, who Klopp accepted could leave in the next week if Liverpool receive a suitable offer, has been suffering with a heavy cold.

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