Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists he gets emotional after defeats because he is a bad loser and not because he has run out of patience with the job.
he German was involved in a terse press conference following last weekend’s 3-0 defeat to Wolves – their seventh in the Premier League this season – and with the team continuing to under-perform speculation has started concerning the 55-year-old’s future.
Klopp, who arrived at Anfield in 2015, signed a contract extension last year to take him to 2026 but after two seven-year spells at his previous clubs there has been a suggestion he is suffering the same kind of fatigue – but he has rejected that.
“It starts with being really emotional after the game because I hate losing – that will never change. I know what you all think I did in the press conference but actually it was the lowest level of the aggression I had inside me,” he said.
“I’m experienced enough to know you can get through this because of two things: when I left Mainz it was a career step as well. When I left Dortmund I was really exhausted in that moment and I thought it was time to do something else.
“I am neither/nor in this moment. I am completely here but I understand when people say ‘Oh seven years there, seven years there’, but that has nothing to do with it. The situation is difficult for other reasons but this is not one of them.”
After what appears to be a clear-the-air meeting post-Wolves, Klopp gave his players two days off and he spent the time decompressing.
But he returned to work with a renewed focus on Monday’s Merseyside derby hoping that the words exchanged between him and the squad had the desired effect.
“I hope it was the right things. I think in situations like this you have to be 100 per cent clear, not hiding behind anything, critical, but respectful as well,” he added.
“But it’s clear we don’t go for excuses. That’s normal, we never did, we never will do and so that was the Sunday.
“You cannot forget it, it is just two days later it looks different, that’s how it is.
“I had a lot of things to do but I had the time for a long walk on the beach, which I did not do for a long time. It was good. It settles you.
“Then back in (training) and the emotional level drops and the moment the emotions drop you can start thinking clear again.”
Part of Klopp’s annoyance in the post-Wolves press conference was what he perceived as the targeting of members of his backroom staff for the blame for what has gone wrong this season.
But the Liverpool manager said if anyone was at fault it was him for taking advice if he felt it was bad.
“If they were not helpful or inspirational or whatever you want to call it, they would not be here. I’m 100 per cent clear on that,” said Klopp, who saw long-time assistant Zeljko Buvac leave just a few weeks before their 2018 Champions League final appearance after a breakdown in relationships behind the scenes.
“Nobody is here because they are my friend or whatever, it was never the case and never will be the case. They are here because they are best in class in what they are doing.
“And by the way, if I would listen to people who give me the wrong advice, again that is my fault and not their fault. I will not change in that department.”