Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has warned his team they will face tougher tests than Monday’s at West Ham before the end of a season in which they hope to be crowned champions.
The Premier League leaders drew 1-1 at the London Stadium, where they were largely outplayed and perhaps fortunate to avoid defeat, when victory would have taken them five points clear of second-placed Manchester City.
Klopp remains without influential players including Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold, but he regardless insists his squad can handle the pressure of a title race following their latest setback.
“If you want to be at the top of the table at the end of the season, you have to deal with much tougher situations than we had [at West Ham]. That’s the truth, that’s always clear,” he said.
“But of course you need players fit and available, that helps a bit.
“We have to fight, it’s not about pressure, it’s about enjoying the situation. We have 62 points, lost one game in a full season so far, which is very positive.
“I have seen your faces already, you feel a bit sorry with us, you don’t have to, we are fine, everything is good. Tonight was just a tough game.”
West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini was frustrated his team were denied victory by a refereeing error.
However, following three successive losses, including an embarrassing FA Cup exit at League One Wimbledon, he was pleased with the performances of his players.
“Yes, disappointed, without any doubt,” he said.
“If you create four chances and didn’t score and they score a goal one metre-and-a-half offside, you must be disappointed and worried.
“I think we played in the way I like this team to play against every team.
“Maybe in the moment that we were [on a losing run], nobody believed that we could do it but I was absolutely sure and I trusted the players that we can play in the way we did.
“I think we did a complete performance, because against the team that has the best defence we created so many chances.”