Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has claimed his team could have been challenging for the Premier League title at this stage of the season but for the injuries his side have had to contend with throughout the campaign, reported the Mirror.
The likes of Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana, and Jordan Henderson have all been ruled out for long periods, while key man Sadio Mane will also miss the rest of the season after a recent injury of his own. The Reds have a host of problems in defence too ahead of this weekend’s clash with Crystal Palace.
Klopp believes that had the injuries not come about, his side would be right up there challenging at this stage of the season with Chelsea and Tottenham.
He said: “The injury situation makes it not easy for us in a lot of situations. I think we all agree if we could have played our first 12 or 13 the whole season, we are only what six or seven points away from the very interesting reach in the table.
“It could have been interesting, but it is not important now because we don’t know if for sure, and we are not allowed to look back.”
He did however claim that the injuries are not down to the high-intensity style of play his side have become famous for this season: “The problem I can not say exactly. But look at the injuries we’ve had – not a lot of muscle injuries which is always a sign of intensity.
“It’s not the moment in the season where we are having the hardest training or whatever, so it’s all about individual situations. A lot of problems, they have been injuries in games, if it happens in the game, it is different.
“It’s not about the day to day, it’s just…the best word is unlucky.”
Klopp also pointed to the number of goals his side have conceded as a possible reason for their drop off, but he’s confident that those issues can be sorted ahead of next season.
“The number of goals we conceded is absolutely too high – it is really rare in my personal history that we concede goals like that big number, we will work on it 100 per cent. But it’s not because there is a fault in our general defending style,” he said.
“Look at the goals we conceded this season, they don’t make sense as a statistic. Not a lot of teams have outplayed us, it is not chance after chance after chance, we are a good defending team, the highest level defending team, but at the end we still concede goals, but it is something we can sort.”
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