Jurgen Klopp has held a clear-the-air summit with his players and a “find a midfielder” conference with his scouts in an attempt to reverse Liverpool’s slow start to the season.
After suggesting Liverpool did not need to reinforce in midfield during pre-season, Klopp now admits the club are proactively trying to recruit before Thursday’s deadline.
The immediate concern, however, is securing the first league win of the Premier League campaign. Klopp gathered his squad after the defeat by Manchester United to re-impose the standards set during his five-year tenure.
The Liverpool manager said the “long” meeting with his squad on Wednesday – arranged 48 hours after the 2-1 loss – was more to put recent problems into perspective than vent fury.
“I was getting things off my chest,” Klopp said. “The good thing about this meeting is I feel much better after it. It is not that I shout at the players, not at all. It is about putting things in perspective, what we did well and what we didn’t do well.
“We live in a world where everything is always judged, but in the end only one thing is important and that is what we think, ourselves, about it. We cannot do things to please the outside world. We never were that and we will never be that.
“For us and for me it is clear what we have to do. We talk about pretty much everything, especially the important things for us.
“I got washed with all kinds of water in my life, highs and lows, and it is all about how you deal with it. It is just about showing perspective.”
Klopp suggested the immediate solution against Bournemouth on Saturday is for his players to show more aggression.
“What can you improve immediately? Effort, for sure,” Klopp said. “In world football you need 100 percent, if not more, and passion. We have to make sure we give Ali[sson] the chance to have a clean sheet because he cannot do it alone. And when we attack we have to attack with all we have. One of the main rules we have is that everybody is responsible for everything.”
On his midfield recruitment about-turn, Klopp said injuries had forced him into a rethink.
“I know we have had this discussion since it all started and I am the one who said we don’t need a midfielder and I was wrong. That’s the situation,” Klopp said. “But the specific point doesn’t change – we will do something but it has to be the right one. We will see.”
One theory that Klopp is keen to refute is that his side are suffering the after effects of last season’s physically and mentally exhausting campaign.
“No hangover,” he insisted. “That is not an excuse. That season is gone. Some players had for sure too many games and then only three weeks off. Is that enough? Probably not, but the boys are used to it.
“It is the start not the finish or the middle part of the season. We really want, and have to do better. Our supporters know if you want to support a club without any kind of drama or lows then you cannot choose Liverpool. This is the first proper fightback early in the season.”