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Jurgen Klopp eager to harness lessons from Watford defeat for Liverpool to “set a new mark”

Jurgen Klopp was quick to acknowledge Liverpool’s shortcomings in the defeat at Watford and is eager for the lessons it will provide, as he pushed aside suggestions the result had been looming.

The Reds’ unbeaten run in the Premier League came to a crashing halt at relegation-threatened Watford who hit three past a lacklustre Liverpool outfit.

It was an evening where, to a man, Klopp’s side were far from their best and while many had seen the performances against Atletico Madrid and West Ham as warning signs, the boss was quick to dismiss suggestions that that was the case.

In an interview with Sky Sports after the game, Klopp accepted the record of 19 successive wins was one which Liverpool’s performance did not deserve, but urged his side to now “set a new mark.”

“It’s normal [for performances to fluctuate]. All teams had situations like this – it’s not because of that you have to lose a game,” the boss explained.

WATFORD, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 29, 2020: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk looks dejected as Watford score the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Watford FC and Liverpool FC at Vicarage Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“We don’t go into a game if we won the last one completely comfortable and go ‘wow’ we will smash them or if we are not at our best we don’t think we will stay at that level for the next game.

“There’s always a chance in between games to change things around and a lot of people will say they saw it coming, congratulations – I didn’t.

“The boys have so many records, we are not that greedy. You have to perform, the result is the result of the performance.

“We didn’t perform well enough, that’s my concern, that’s what I think about not that we can be the best ever Premier League team.

“We can now win from now on and set a new mark, but tonight we were just not good enough and that we have to admit.”

Watford stuck to their blueprint to effectively nullify the Reds’ threat and the boss was full of praise for Nigel Pearson’s side.

WATFORD, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 29, 2020: Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (L) and Trent Alexander-Arnold after the FA Premier League match between Watford FC and Liverpool FC at Vicarage Road. Watford won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

But after overseeing only the third defeat of the season in all competitions, Klopp welcomed the chance to learn and improve.

“Yeah [we wanted to] play quicker. If a game is absolutely not clicking like today, you could write a book and constantly talk – but it’s not easy to reach the boys at this moment,” he continued.

“Half-time helps a lot but the message was pass quicker, mix the formation up as for example, with the high full-backs they defended them as 6-3-1 and we didn’t use the possible half-spaces.

“We needed to be more flexible than what we were tonight.

“It was always clear at one point we would lose a game, it was not that we were waiting for it, it was the opposite, but when you lose a game there are so many things you did not do well.

“I prefer losing a game where you don’t perform well because if you are at your highest level then you lose unluckily, it is difficult to explain and change – but now we can talk about this game a lot and can improve things.”

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