Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool's 53-year-old manager, has vowed to fix the Premier League club's faltering season and denied that he wants to take a break amid the difficulties he has been experiencing in both his private and professional life, the Guardian reported Monday.
“I don’t need a break. The last thing I want to do is talk about private things in a press conference but everyone knows that privately we have been through an absolutely tough time. But that was not just three weeks ago, that was a much longer time already. We always deal with it as a family, 100 percent," the coach is quoted in the report as saying, referring among other things to the death of his mother, whose funeral he was not able to attend due to the travel restrictions imposed because of COVID-19.
On Sunday, Liverpool fans showed their support toward Klopp at Anfield stadium, draping a banner reading "Jurgen Klopp YNWA" behind the Kop, but Klopp denied talk of a premature end to his Anfield work.
“The banner is nice but not necessary,” he said. “I don’t feel that I need special support at the moment but it’s nice. What were the rumours again? Did I get the sack or did I leave by myself? Neither."
“Of course I’m influenced by things that are happening around me but nobody needs to worry about me. I might not look like it – because the weather is not cool, I’m white and the beard gets more and more grey, I don’t sleep a lot and my eyes look like this – but it’s all fine. I’m full of energy," Klopp added.
Talking about the team's poor results in recent games, Klopp said situations like these present an "interesting challenge" for him and for the players.
After woeful results that include three consecutive losses, three successive league defeats at Anfield and four league wins in 13 games since their Champions League group campaign ended on 9 December, Liverpool trails Manchester City's leaders by 13 points. Klopp said that he is responsible for the decline, but that the style that has achieved success in recent seasons in the Premier League and Champions League will not change.
“I understand that a lot of people are not happy with results. I get that,” he said. “I am responsible for it 100 percent. But we still played some pretty good stuff. You can forget that but we cannot because that is the start of changing things. If you change a situation like we are in with bad football? I’ve never heard of that."
Klopp said that the famous Liverpool style of game is not "sit back and wait" most of the game before the charge: "We have to be dominant. And we will do that. I am ready. The boys are ready. We will give our absolute everything to sort it."
In his turn, the team's captain, Jordan Henderson, reportedly said that Liverpool's players are to blame for the poor run that has threatened the champions' chances of finishing in the top four and increased the importance of the last-16 tie against Leipzig.
“I know the manager tries to protect us as much as possible in the press but as players we know it is down to us to change the situation we are in,” Henderson said. “We take full responsibility on results and for performances. It is down to us to keep working hard and keep fighting to change this tough period that we are going through.”
In the Champions League on Tuesday, Liverpool will face RB Leipzig, with the competition being their last hope of gaining any silverware this season.