1:41 'This season doesn't feel like success' – Jurgen Klopp This season doesnt feel like success – Jurgen Klopp Jurgen Klopp feels Liverpool are having to apologise for “not winning like Manchester City” after opening up on a team meeting about their expectations.
The Liverpool manager revealed the squad met to analyse “how we see our situation” after their Champions League defeat by Red Star Belgrade in Serbia this week.
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He said talks were “all positive”, but that they contrast with perceptions of Liverpools campaign outside the club.
Liverpool, who have denied a report in the US that the club is quietly on the market for sale, can equal their highest points tally after 12 games of a Premier League season with victory over Fulham on Sunday. Another clean sheet would deliver the lowest tally of goals conceded – five – at the same stage.
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Read more Klopp accepts expectations are higher this season having reached the Champions League final in May and out-spent every other Premier League club in the summer transfer window. However, he believes a return of 27 points from a possible 33 has not generated the positivity it merits because of the absence of last seasons flowing football and the form of title rivals.
The Liverpool manager, who led the inquest into Tuesdays Champions League defeat at Red Star Belgrade on the return to Melwood the following day, said: It was more a general meeting about our situation and what we expect from ourselves. The season so far, point-wise, is really successful but it doesnt feel like that for two reasons: the comparison with last year and the free-flowing football, and Man City, Chelsea and the others who are playing a very good season as well.
Fulham have conceded 29 goals in 11 games – the worst defensive record in the division and something Liverpool will feel they can exploit at Anfield. Jokanovic said Jürgen Klopps team have important weapons but having witnessed Red Star Belgrade overcome Liverpool in midweek, he feels his team can do the same if they show the same level of desire and dedication.
Read more You see it this week. We struggle in Belgrade and they [City] win 6-0. Its a big gap. It feels a bit like that this season can only be a success if we become champion, in a year when our competitors are the champion of last year and the champion of two years ago. And a refreshed Arsenal and a more experienced Tottenham, and Man United turning around. Thats a really tough job. We go for everything. No problem with that, but we have to build on our situation to get better, more confidence. Tuesday was our massive knock, and now we have to react in the right way, not only on Sunday but in general.
Jokanovic led Fulham to promotion via the play-offs in May and less than five months later is under mounting pressure, with Fulhams former captain and current first-team coach Scott Parker linked with the managers post should, as some expect, Jokanovic be sacked during the international break which follows Sundays visit to Liverpool.
Klopp insists Liverpool have shown undoubted improvement this season, with the exception of the performances at Red Star and Napoli, without rediscovering the attacking flair of the last campaign.
Everybody is searching for it, he added. All the different expectations are on the boys. We were in the Champions League final last year, and for the first 25 minutes we were the better team in the final. Doesnt help a lot but thats the last impression people have.
We have to start again, and the other teams dont get worse. A little moan about the situation is great but we are really ambitious. Whatever we can get, we want to take with all we have, but its a different situation – Champions League final, new signings settling in, it sounds like you automatically win the Champions League or the league. But the other teams dont sleep.
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We have to see it in the right way, be positive and not the other way round. Its like we win a game and we have to say sorry for not winning it in a City way or whatever. I get that, we have space for improvement, but there is no reason for any negative view.
Liverpool spokesman responded to a New York Post story that the owner, John Henry, has signalled a willingness to sell the club by saying: On behalf of the clubs ownership I can completely dismiss this unfounded speculation. To repeat once again, the club is not for sale, including any quiet process or anything of that nature.