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'It was not that bad' - Klopp plays down defeat to Man City

  /  autty

Jurgen Klopp will relaunch Liverpool's title challenge on Saturday with a message to his players that one defeat does not mean there is need for panic.

Manchester City ended Liverpool's 20-game unblemished start to the season on January 3 to cut the gap between the two clubs to four points; judging by some of the reaction to that result from Liverpool supporters, there is a fear that City will eventually overhaul them.

Klopp, though, has gone into detail about how he has set about steering Liverpool towards what he hopes will be a successful title challenge and revealed he would have been viewed as 'mad' had he attacked his players for the defeat at the Etihad Stadium.

'You don't lose a game in the first half of the season, then lose one and you lose your head immediately - that would be strange,' said Klopp.

'That would not be in general the right thing to do. That's a moment where your team could be sitting in the dressing room and think "Is he mad?!"

'It was not that bad. We have talked about Man City and (the difference) was what? 11mm? If the ball crosses the line, you get a point and a brilliant result. Then we go to Wolves and I make the changes; it's not the boys who make the changes.

'That says more about me than the team, so no let's carry on. That's it. It's a normal situation, it's still very positive. Let's say we had one point more than City, go to City and win - then we have four points more. There is no reason to go to Brighton with less confidence.

'It is only important how many more points we have than City only at the end of the season. At the moment, it is just information, nothing more.

'So that's why I say it is all good, but the next game we have to play. Did we win it already? No. Can we win it? Yes. Will it be easy? No.'

Klopp continues to be without Adam Lallana, who was injured in training before the FA Cup third round tie at Wolverhampton. The England international has endured a luckless spell but his manager believes he will still contribute towards the end of the season.

'Could he be in a better place mentally? Yes - if he was playing and had scored 20 goals in the last 10 games,' said Klopp, who will use Fabinho in central defence again on Saturday.

'But everything is fine. Adam knows that we need him. Nobody likes to lose a player but you have to deal with it.'

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