Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has admitted that he feels the team’s struggles this season have helped him become a better manager.
The defending Premier League champions, Liverpool find themselves in a battle for the top four this season after a huge drop-off in form which most attribute to a serious defensive injury crisis. The club’s three senior centre-backs – Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip – all picked up major knee injuries, while stand-ins Jordan Henderson and Fabinho have also suffered.
In an interview with Sky Sports, Klopp admitted that needing to chop-and-change his back line has obviously taken its toll on the rest of the team, but he insisted he is only trying to take the positives from the situation.
“The problems that we had, it was always clear that they would become influential if we could not sort it by the players coming back,” he said. “That is what happened.
“Most of the problems are as a result of the injury situation. This year we have faced completely new problems. I have never in my life – and I have been doing the job for 20 years – had to change the last line every week.
“I am a much better manager this season than I was before because usually you are not having to think about these things but now I am having to think about them constantly.
“We had a situation on Friday night. We trained all week, or the few days that we had to train, with one specific line-up and then overnight we had to change it completely. That is another big thing to do that is common in football but we have had it plenty of times.
“People might say that is an excuse. I could not care less, to be honest. We do not use it as an excuse but if you ask me the question then it is the explanation for why things changed.”
Despite the turmoil, Klopp insisted he is refusing to get upset and thanked everyone at Liverpool for standing by one another during such a tricky time.
“I am not angry about it or whatever, I am 53 years old,” he explained. “I have had different moments in my life. Wonderful moments, lesser moments. It is just a football problem.
“Dealing with frustration, dealing with failures, you can learn so much in these moments, it is unbelievable. That is what we will do. It helps you in life.
“The togetherness is outstanding in the club internally. We are not angry with each other and pointing the finger at each other saying that it is because of you or it is because of you. That is not the case. We are a complete unit, really. 100%.”