Former Liverpool midfielder Steve McManaman claimed new manager Jurgen Klopp would be a “miracle worker” if he guided the club close to a top-four finish this season.
Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw at home to 10-man Rubin Kazan in the Europa League on Thursday, following last week’s Premier League goalless draw with Tottenham in Klopp’s first match in charge.
It was Liverpool’s third 1-1 draw in three Europa League games this term, after sharing the spoils against Sion and Bordeaux.
McManaman blasted the “lacklustre” performance and said Klopp has plenty of work on his hands if he is to guide the club to any success in 2015-16.
“It’s been a very frustrating night all round,” he said. “It was a really lacklustre performance.
“Bordeaux away, it was a poor goal to concede, Sion at home, poor goal and another one, poor goal.
“And that’s what happens when you know you need to score three to win a game every single game, suddenly you can feel the anguish.
“They certainly have to step up to the mark because at this moment in time if he can get them anywhere near the top four he will be a miracle worker, he really will be.”
Liverpool are 10th in the Premier League standings on 13 points after winning three of their opening nine matches.
The Merseyside club are eight points adrift of leaders Manchester City and four behind West Ham, who occupy the fourth and final Champions League spot.
McManaman added: “The manager’s only been here a week so you can’t necessarily blame him for the team’s performance because he put out arguably his strongest side but it lacked a lot of intensity.
“The first two results haven’t been great but you just hope that he’s going to get a lot better, but the fact he has to wait until January to bring any of his own players is a long way off.
“And there’s a lot harder games than tonight going to come up in front of him.”
Liverpool’s next test comes at home to Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday.
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