Jurgen Klopp admits Fabinho, Matip & Lovren need to “find the rhythm back”

Jurgen Klopp acknowledged that it was a tough game for Fabinho, Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren as they returned from injury at Shrewsbury.

Fabinho made his first start since November, while Matip and Lovren made their first appearances since October and early December respectively, as the Reds were held at New Meadow.

All three were noticeably off pace as the Reds allowed a two-goal lead to slip and finish at 2-2, with Matip substituted on 79 minutes as Klopp sought a winner.

It was to be expected, but it was disappointing nonetheless given the context of the result to the League One outfit, with the likes of Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino also struggling.

Speaking to LFCTV after the draw, Klopp admitted the trio needed to “find the rhythm back,” and took an optimistic view of their performance.

“Obviously they needed the game, or maybe one more, to find the rhythm back,” he explained.

“That’s how it is, we all know how good these boys are.

“Thank god the game today is not our only impression of them, that would not be too cool so long after long injuries.

“That’s our situation, the boys came back and we have to use them, we want to use them, and so today we gave them the opportunity.

“Now they have 95 minutes more in their legs, and that hopefully helps.”

SHREWSBURY, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 26, 2020: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp reacts during the FA Cup 4th Round match between Shrewsbury Town FC and Liverpool FC at the New Meadow. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp described New Meadow as a “tough place to go” before the game, and it proved just that as Liverpool failed to deal with the physicality and energy of Sam Ricketts’ side.

Continuing his assessment of the game, Klopp praised Shrewsbury for their efforts, and also noted how the pitch caused the Reds problems.

“Well-deserved Shrewsbury, that was the minimum they deserved today,” he conceded.

“Of course, we could have, should have played better, scored more goals, all these kind of things.

“But if we are completely honest in the first half they already had two or three counter-attacks, where we lost the ball, didn’t control the ball.

“[It was] a difficult pitch, obviously, we needed 95 minutes to get used to it. That’s not how it should be.

“Then we get that gift directly after half-time where they scored our 2-0 by themselves, but it didn’t look like it, we felt from outside that we were 2-1 down more than 2-0 up.

SHREWSBURY, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 26, 2020: Liverpool's Curtis Jones looks dejected as his side draw 2-2 and supporters invade the pitch during the FA Cup 4th Round match between Shrewsbury Town FC and Liverpool FC at the New Meadow. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“We didn’t control the game, we caused ourselves problems with our buildup, pass from left to right.

“That’s the situation, if you don’t get used to the pitch you have to use it, and that means you have to play a long buildup.

“That’s not a massive problem…[but] well-deserved Shrewsbury, congratulations.”

Klopp has already revealed he does not intend to manage the replay at Anfield on February 5/6, with Neil Critchley instead leading a youth side as the first team are given a week off.