Jurgen Klopp labelled the external reaction to Liverpool’s mini slump “predictable” as he called on his players to show aggression in fighting back to form.
Successive 1-1 draws against Leicester City and West Ham allowed Manchester City to regain top spot in the Premier League with a 2-0 win at Everton in midweek.
Liverpool have a game in hand on Pep Guardiola’s side but dropping points against mid-table teams in consecutive matches has prompted questions over whether they can hold their nerve during the home stretch.
The Reds entertain Bournemouth on Saturday – 24 hours before City’s home clash with Chelsea – and Klopp admitted it was incumbent upon his players to demonstrate resolve.
“It’s normal,” Klopp said of the response to the West Ham result. “It was kind of predictable, and if you want to be top of the table and a champion at the end of the season you have to show in situations like that – and there are worse situations – real passion, real desire, you have to fight.
“You cannot go around it, you have to go through.
“I got a message this week, another sign that people think I need help. I don’t need help, thank you very much, I’m fine!
“In the last  games, City dropped 12 points and we dropped seven. I didn’t know that. Is it interesting for me? Not really, but the view from outside is completely different.
“Then it was something that City lost to three teams outside the top six, we drew twice.
— Premier League (@premierleague) February 7, 2019
“That’s the world outside, and we live in that world. I know that people are confronted with things like this, the players are too.
“The only tool we really have to sort [in] our situation is football, passion, a proper fight, being aggressive in the most legal way. Be hard, put your foot in.”
Liverpool will use the 10-day gap between the Bournemouth match and the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Bayern Munich to attend a warm-weather training camp in Spain.
Klopp denied the trip abroad was designed to escape media attention.
“We will go away for a couple of days so we can really focus on training,” he said. “We don’t have to drive between sessions, things like that. A little change of scenery again.
“It always worked out pretty well for me as a manager when I had the opportunity to do it, to be 100 per cent focused, have a couple of meetings. We’d have done it if we were 10 points up.
“We do it because we have time, and we can do it because we play the Champions League game a week later.”
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