Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists that he is “full of energy” and that he does not need a break from football.
Some social media reports over the weekend suggest that Klopp could resign after Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat to Leicester on Saturday, a result the German believes has ended the champions’ hopes of retaining the Premier League title.
Liverpool have now lost three consecutive league games for the first time since November 2014 and are 13 points behind leaders Manchester City, which has an away game.
Klopp, who recently was unable to return to Germany for the funeral of his mother Elisabeth due to travel restrictions due to coronavirus, received the support of some Liverpool fans in the form of a banner outside Anfield and assured them he was not going anywhere.
“Did I get the bag or did I go alone? I don’t need a break,” he said. “The sign is nice, but not needed. At the moment, I don’t feel the need for special support.
“Look, the last thing I want is to talk about private things at a press conference, but everyone knows, privately, we had a hard time – it wasn’t just more than three weeks, it was and for a much longer time you always deal with it as a family. .
“I’ve been working in football for 30 years, and as a coach for 20 years. I can share things and turn myself off. I don’t carry them around. If I’m private, I’m private, if I’m football and at work, then I’m here.
“Of course, we’re affected by things happening around us, but no one has to worry about me. Maybe I wouldn’t look like this because the weather isn’t good, my chin is getting gray, yes, I don’t sleep much, but I’m full of energy. The situation is I see it as an interesting challenge. “
Klopp replaced Brendan Rodgers as Liverpool boss in 2015 and signed a contract extension until 2024 in December 2019, six months after winning the Champions League.
Liverpool’s 30-year-old champions soon followed, but Klopp’s team now has 30 points less than it had at the same stage last season – the biggest drop of any reigning champion in top flight history – after a string of two wins in previous 10 Premier League Matches.
Klopp added: “We will solve this challenge by playing football and fighting with everything we have. It is a plan we have.
“A lot of people are obviously not happy with the results, I understand and I’m responsible for that, but we still played some pretty good things. You (the media) can forget that, but we can’t because it’s the beginning of change [our fortunes].
“It’s a huge challenge. I’m ready, the guys are ready and we’ll give absolutely anything to solve it. I’m very grateful for the support, but no one has to worry about me.”
Klopp: Keita training, but not ready
Liverpool faced RB Leipzig in the first game of the last final of the Champions League in Budapest on Tuesday due to coronavirus restrictions in Germany.
Klopp will again be without several first-team players due to injury, but midfielder Naby Keita – although not available to face his former club – has returned to training after being suspended since December.
“Naby is no longer injured, but he is not in shape yet,” Klopp said. “He was in training yesterday, but that’s not enough yet. We’ll be away for two days and he’ll be in training; that’s better than flying with us. Of course, Naby would like to be there when he’s against Leipzig.
“He had a few great spells, but obviously you have to say he also had too many injuries, which didn’t help much, but he played really great games for us and scored important goals. He contributed to our success last year; he was always involved despite injuries.
“These were unfortunate moments when you look at his injuries, it was just the little things [ruled] him from the team. But he has a great perspective and is a great player.
“As far as injuries go, we all have to go through these difficulties and when that stays behind you, we’re going to have another absolutely great player.”
Henderson laughs at the rumors about the locker room
Jordan Henderson quickly dismissed rumors on social media that defender Andrew Robertson and goalkeeper Alisson were involved in a recent fight in the locker room.
“I don’t think I have to comment on someone sitting behind a keyboard and making up rumors about a manager or players in the locker room,” Liverpool captain Henderson said when asked about the reports.
“It’s not true. I quite liked the one Ali and Robbo had an argument about! I laughed a little because of that, but I didn’t think much.”
Nagelsmann: Liverpool do not have a beaten boxer
Julian Nagelsmann is adamant that his team from RB Leipzig will not treat Liverpool as a “beaten boxer”.
“My plans for the match have not changed because of the place where it is played,” he said at a news conference. “For me there is no absolute difference whether we are at our stadium or somewhere else.
“We don’t want to give Liverpool any chance to play their game. We know about their quality.
“Even if their results in the Premier League lately have not lived up to expectations, you still always hear them being declared the best teams in the league. We know that.
“I can’t tell my team they are facing a beaten boxer because that’s not what Liverpool have. They are strong in every area and always put their basic principles well into practice.”
Nagelsmann, whose team, by contrast, has beaten the last three in the Bundesliga to move up to second place behind leader Bayern Munich, Klopp described at his press conference as “outstanding talent”.
Nagelsmann similarly praised his German colleague in an effusive manner, adding: “Obviously I’m following his career a bit. He took over his clubs in difficult times and stabilized them little by little, making them successful.
“You always see and hear that he brings a great spirit to the team; the people who work with him still like to remember their time with him even years later. That will be the case for those in Liverpool as well.
“He can motivate people and put people under his spell. I always try to develop as a coach and part of that is thinking outside the box.”
Liverpool will play RB Leipzig in the first game of the last final of the Champions League on Tuesday, before hosting Merseyside’s rival Everton in the Premier League on Saturday, live on Sky Sports from 5 pm; start 17:30.