Liverpool manager says his players need to wake up

By BBC Sports

Liverpool’s 2-0 Premier League defeat by Hull City was “not acceptable”, said manager Jurgen Klopp.

Alfred N’Diaye scored on his Tigers debut and loanee Oumar Niasse added the second as the Reds lost for the fourth time in their past five matches.

Klopp’s men remain fourth – though they could slip to fifth on Sunday – but are yet to win a league match in 2017.

“The overall performance was not like it should be. It makes no sense for us to play like this,” said Klopp.

“If we played like we did in the second half for the whole game, no team can cope with us. But we need to wake up; that was not acceptable.”

Five-time European champions Liverpool have played in the Champions League just once in the past six seasons.

They remain in the qualifying places despite their defeat at Hull, but Manchester City will pass them if they avoid defeat by Swansea on Sunday (13:30 GMT) and Manchester United will move to within one point of the Reds if they beat Leicester City (16:00 GMT).

Klopp has told his players to forget about focusing on their league position and accept all the criticism that will come their way because “it’s 100% true”.

“The Champions League is a big, big target but it is so difficult because there are so many challengers,” he said. “After today’s performance we don’t have to think about this.

“A week ago I spoke about expectations and said we were still allowed to have a positive look on the situation because we are still fourth in the league.

“But, after a game like this, we have to take all the criticism because we expect more from ourselves and we have to show more than we did today. It is my responsibility to make it possible.”

Victory for Hull maintained their 100% home record under Marco Silva, who succeeded Mike Phelan last month.

“Of course I’m happy with our performance,” he said. “My team showed a fantastic attitude and fantastic spirit, and the important thing is to keep focus and continue to take more points.

“We need to keep sight of our goal because we have only won three points and nothing more. But this shows the players that this is the right way and they can believe.

“This is important because when the players don’t believe it is impossible.”


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