It isn’t an overreaction to say that the performance on Sunday against Swansea was one the worst of the season, arguably the worst under Klopp so far, and showed just how strained the squad has become with injuries and trying to balance both Premier League and Europa League ambitions.
But Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is adamant that his team will play much, much better against Villarreal after expressing his disappointment at the display and result on Sunday morning.
Speaking after the match, Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com: “We have to accept it [the result] because our performance wasn’t good enough.
“I’m especially a little bit disappointed because if we had played our normal game for 90 minutes we could have won the game, but we didn’t play a normal game and that was the problem.
“We got it back to 2-1 but then we conceded again and the goals were too simple, too easy for Swansea. I’m not looking for an excuse and I think we could have played better but we didn’t.
“We played like we played and I saw it for the whole 90 minutes and there was not a lot I enjoyed, to be honest. We have to think about it and we have to recover, which is very important, and we will play much, much better than we did on Sunday.
“We have to accept the result, which is what we do, and then we work and we will be better on Thursday.”
It was a tough pill to swallow for the 48 year old, particularly coming just days after conceding the first leg of the Europa League semi final to Villarreal in the final moments last Thursday and a number of players didn’t do themselves justice.
Many fan’s identified the lack of experience at the centre of the park as the main issue, while most also pointed to the poor displays from several of their more experienced team mates on the day. But with the likes of Lucas Leiva, Kolo Toure, Adam Lallana and Roberto Firmino due to return to the starting lineup on Thursday, along with a small chance of seeing Emre Can return, there is still cause for hope ahead of the stone leg in three days.
A win at home to Villarreal, and progress to the final, and that defeat to Swansea will suddenly be a distant memory.