Jurgen Klopp has faith in Liverpool getting back to winning ways against Bournemouth, despite a badly timed loss of momentum in the past week.
The Reds seemed to be going so well in the Premier League, but back-to-back draws at home to Everton and West Brom have changed all that.
They now head to Bournemouth on Sunday afternoon knowing that more ground cannot afford to be lost in the top-four battle, at a stadium where they lost 4-3 in heartbreaking fashion last year.
Klopp has been quick to bullishly support the players, however, and says any negative reaction at the moment is over the top.
“Nine days ago we were ‘flying’, now I look into your eyes and we have ‘problems’,” Klopp told reporters at Melwood on Friday.
“I can understand that it’s normal [to feel negative] after two draws at home, but they were completely different games.
“Everton was good—one of the best derbies I saw, but with the wrong result. We were unlucky.
“Against West Brom we didn’t deserve luck. It was not a good performance, it was not as good as we could’ve have played.
“We weren’t fluid, our passing was not at its best—but there haven’t been a lot of ‘not good’ games recently.
“I always think about the performance: if we win 1-0 it doesn’t make the performance better. The result is massively different.
“We didn’t lose it in a week and we don’t ‘get’ it in a week. We have to deliver, we know that. We have to play better than against West Brom.
“To judge everything in two or three decisive moments, when you score or don’t score, would be silly.”
Klopp also defended his rotation policy this winter, as he looks to keep his players fresh for the duration of the season.
The Liverpool manager has received criticism for chopping and changing his personnel, with Wednesday’s 0-0 draw against West Brom seeing his tally of changes in 2017/18 to 65, more than any other Premier League manager.
His decision to leave out Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino in last Sunday’s Merseyside derby was criticised, but Klopp says it is a case of avoiding fatigue within his squad.
“I didn’t realise [the criticism] because I didn’t read it,” Klopp added.
“It’s just a job to do. We have to make sure we have players as fit as possible for a specific game.
“We still think the squad gives us this opportunity and that’s why we did it. That’s pretty much all—nothing else.
“I don’t think [dropped points against Everton and West Brom] has anything to do with rotation.
“The players I rotate have two games a week, and we just make sure they don’t have to play three games a week.
“It’s not about respecting one team more or less, we respect them all 100 percent.”