Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is not surprised by his side’s drop in form in January and is confident they remain in the Premier League title race.
Liverpool have won once in January in all competitions — a 1-0 victory at Plymouth in the FA Cup — and their 3-2 loss at home to Swansea City last weekend dented their title hopes.
But Klopp, whose side are 10 points behind leaders Chelsea, said in The Guardian: “Who expects to play their best football in the middle of January. Just look at the weekend. Did Chelsea have 20 shots on target? No.
“Arsenal won in the last minute, Tottenham I think had already lost but then came back into the game because City didn’t use all their chances, didn’t get a penalty and all that stuff. Nobody is having an easy moment, we all have the first part of the season in our legs. If we were fresher now than in August or September we would have done everything wrong.”
Klopp said his side remain on track this season, with the Reds into the fourth round of the FA Cup and also taking on Southampton looking to overturn a 1-0 deficit in the second leg of their League Cup semifinal on Wednesday.
“Who thought that this season we had to be champions otherwise we cannot enjoy the season? How can I help this person? How? What can I do? We’re still close enough to fight for nearly everything,” Klopp, whose team could face rivals Manchester United in the League Cup final if both sides progress, said in The Times.
“OK, if Chelsea wins [at Anfield next Tuesday] then we cannot fight but for the rest we can. Let’s judge it when it’s done.
“Who can deal with a run like Chelsea have been on? We played them once and beat them so we’re not responsible for their position. We did what we could until now. If you allow the circumstances to have that influence on yourself then it’s pretty difficult for me.
“For me, it’s not like this. I’m full of energy, full of power. I was really disappointed after the last game but that is all. We have the next opportunity against Southampton. Let’s fight for this, the next and then Chelsea.
“We have to finish better than last season, have to improve on what we already did. That’s 100 percent. And then we make the next step. This is a long-term project — that means we need to make a few steps.
“If you can pick some of the nice routes then do it. We’ll do it, silverware or whatever. Champions League. But even then we will not stop developing. That’s all. Everything is fine for me.”
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