LIVERPOOL, England (Reuters) – Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp called on his players to “fight through” their disappointing start to the season that means they trail Premier League leaders Arsenal by 11 points following Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion.
Having fallen two goals behind inside 17 minutes at Anfield, Liverpool looked to have given stuttering campaign a lift by turning the match on its head to lead 3-2 going into the final 10 minutes.
But Leandro Trossard’s late equaliser, that completed his hat-trick, leaves ninth-placed Liverpool on just 10 points from their seven matches so far, at the beginning of a busy October that could make or break their season.
“We have to fight through this,” Klopp said. “The boys can play much better. My job is to create a situation where we can play much better and for that you need stability.
“We have to control the game, which is something we have been talking about for two or three years.
“You have to work step by step to get confidence back. We had confident moments today, but our passing game was not good today, we passed balls all over the place. We also can defend each goal much better.”
The way Liverpool are starting games is of real concern to supporters, with their disjointed showing in the opening exchanges on Saturday again leaving them with a mountain to climb.
Klopp’s team have now conceded first in nine of their last 11 league matches, with Brighton, in new coach Roberto De Zerbi’s first game in charge, dominating the opening 20 minutes.
“The confidence level is not extraordinarily high,” Klopp added. “We want to get the confidence back and we want to increase it. The first goal and second goal did not help that.
“The setup of Brighton surprised us, because we had no idea what they would do. With Roberto he did exactly the right things, but before we adapted we were 2-0 down.
“Then we understood better what they do and reacted better, pulling ourselves back into the game. But even when we were one goal up, we were just not convincing in these moments. We have to do better.”
(Reporting by Peter Hall; Editing by Christian Radnedge)