Jurgen Klopp determined not to repeat Brighton ‘horror show’ in FA Cup
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has no intention of reliving the “horror show” his side put on at Brighton a fortnight ago as they prepare for a return this weekend.
The German described the 3-0 defeat earlier this month as the worst performance of his managerial career as his side were run ragged by the more dynamic and incisive hosts.
They go back to the south coast for an FA Cup fourth round tie but Klopp does not plan to use their previous failure as motivation to prove a point.
Asked whether he would refer to that performance with his players, he said: “Not on a daily basis but yes, of course we had intense talks after the Brighton game.
“We had to change immediately and we did. A couple of days later we played Wolves and we looked a different team, I said it looked like two completely different sports.
“But I will not do a meeting where I show all bad situations from Brighton, it would be a proper horror show and we saw that already. We played it and saw it after.
“If there is anything good about it, it felt that bad for the players as well that everyone was clear about it.
“It is about general change and improvement of different things. We can lose a game and we did that and if you don’t learn from it, it is just a defeat.
“If you learn from it, it is important as well and we tend to do things like that.”
Stefan Bajcetic has signed a new long-term contract with the Reds 🙌🔴
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 26, 2023
What Klopp appeared to learn about it was that his tired-looking midfield needed a shake-up.
As a result he fielded a previously untried trio of 18-year-old Stefan Bajcetic, Naby Keita and Thiago Alcantara for the third round replay at Wolves and the home Premier League match at Chelsea – leaving captain Jordan Henderson and Fabinho on the bench – and was rewarded with two clean sheets.
“We had injuries after Brighton or little niggles so it was clear we had to change anyway and then I liked the rhythm and the mix of offensive things and defensive readiness,” he said of his selection.
“It was not the three alone because the three alone can do nothing, but the front line did really good as well, and that is really important to us.
“With Brighton a lot of things are clear and you have to respect that and defend that. If you don’t do that then you are screwed.
“The midfield three it just worked well for these games, we will see who will start on Sunday.
“The midfielders they train and all show up and obviously all want to play and my job is to make a decision and see how it works best and then we have five opportunities to change.
“We have six, seven midfielders in top shape, perfect situation in our system and only three can start but you cannot make mistakes with line-ups.
“That is the situation I want to be in again.”
Forward Fabio Carvalho has not trained this week due a minor injury and is unlikely to feature while centre-back Nat Phillips, who Klopp accepted could leave in the next week if a suitable bid arrives, has been suffering with a heavy cold.