KLOPP’S LAST GAME SOUVENIR

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, April 11, 2024: Liverpool's Curtis Jones during the UEFA Europa League Quarter-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and BC Atalanta at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp admits “surprise” at Curtis Jones fatigue – “We don’t have to force it”

Jurgen Klopp has urged his returning players to shake off their lack of rhythm in order to help a stumbling Liverpool get their season back on track.

The Reds’ hopes of Premier League and Europa League glory have been severely damaged by their last two results: a 2-2 draw with Man United at Old Trafford and a 3-0 home defeat to Atalanta.

But if there is one saving grace of the last week, it is that Curtis Jones, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Diogo Jota and Stefan Bajcetic have all returned to the squad, with Alisson set to join them imminently.

Of course, one concern for Klopp as he welcomes back those players from lengthy stints on the sidelines is that they will lack the sharpness necessary to make an immediate impact on the team’s fortunes.

But the German doesn’t want to hear excuses and has called for his squad to do all they can to get the Reds through their recent sticky patch.

He said: “It is no pressure, it is just the situation.

“My job is not the easiest in the world, not the most difficult as well, but it’s about when you have players you need to make sure that you get them together on the pitch and then it works out somehow.

“In different lineups we have played really good football this year, [Thursday] we didn’t.

“So that’s the reason why we lost. There can be the headline ‘ba-ba-ba, it didn’t work out’, then it’s absolutely fine and right.

“But we need them all and we need them all aggressive, fit, going for it, a bit angry, full of desire, stuff like this, and not so much dealing with your own situation, like ‘I’ve no rhythm, I didn’t play for ages’, stuff like this. You have to try to avoid that.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, April 11, 2024: Liverpool's Curtis Jones (L) is challenged by Atalanta's Éderson José dos Santos Lourenço da Silva during the UEFA Europa League Quarter-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and BC Atalanta at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“You saw Curtis, who was for most of the season the fittest player, press for 90 minutes like crazy, [Thursday] after 20 minutes he was 100 percent surprised, I was surprised as well.

“Oh look, he feels the intensity already. That is why we made the change at half-time. We don’t have to force it.

“They all have massive quality, we as a group, all together, didn’t show it and that is why we lost the game.”