Klopp defended himself in the midst of Liverpool’s difficulties

Jurgen Klopp is in a challenging mood ahead of the game against Brighton

Jurgen Klopp has defended himself from criticism amid a difficult season for Liverpool by insisting he did not become a “bad manager overnight”.

Liverpool are ninth in the Premier League at mid-season, trailing leaders Arsenal by 21 points and fourth-placed Manchester United – who have played an extra game – by 10 points.

Much different from last season when they entered the last weeks of the season with the posssssibility of winning four trophies.

They ended it with an FA Cup and EFL Cup double, losing to Manchester City in the Premier League and Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

Liverpool have been heavily affected by injuries throughout the season, while several key players have struggled for form.

Plenty of criticism fell at Klopp’s feet but he spoke firmly ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup fourth round tie against Brighton and Hove Albion.

“I didn’t become a bad manager overnight,” Klopp told reporters. “I’ve never been as good as people say or not as bad as some people think.

“But imagine if you [the media] were here today talking to other Liverpool coaches because last seaaaason we won four trophies and I said, ‘See you later, [I’m going] on holiday!’.

“Imagine if you see a different [manager] and he has to explain these things and he tells you how things are. Nobody wants to listen!

“They will say last season was great and this year wasn’t great – so go for it!

“You have to have broad shoulders and really embrace it. It’s tough, sorry, but we’re going to do everything we have to get out of it and then play in a way that people can’t wait to see.” go to the stadium again.

“Hopefully we can get through this together and become closer. From there we all know anything can happen.

“So far, we haven’t given the fans much this season, but we are still in two cup competitions, and we are not going to give up on the league. Why should we?

“Other teams are doing very well and we respect them a lot but we want to beat them and I will see how we can do it at Brighton.”

Klopp doesn’t want to blame Liverpool’s troubles entirely on their injury woes, though he does at least believe they would have been closer to the top four had the likes of Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota not missed a large part of the season until now.

“Obviously it will be difficult, but with fewer injuries I think we can agree that we could easily get at least five points more,” he added.

“Okay, it’s not been a brilliant season, but we will fight for the Champions League. It’s a normal season.

“But a defining player injury has made it a very average or poor season so far, and you can’t just make up for it.

“On top of that, if you don’t have time to train and you have three days until the next game, you can’t create football in one and a half sessions.”

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