Jurgen Klopp has sent a fresh warning to Liverpool’s home rivals that there is ‘a lot more to come’ from them this season, while insisting that World Cup time will take its toll on club teams.
The Reds go into the World Cup break sixth in the Premier League table and seven points off the top four after a disappointing start to the campaign.
Liverpool returned to action on Thursday with a 3-2 defeat by Manchester City in the Carabao Cup, and reflecting on that and other performances this season, Klopp insisted there is plenty of room for improvement.
“We’ve left a gap between us and a lot of interesting positions in the table. We have to chase. I saw good signs last night, I wasn’t happy with everything, our counter-press was pretty much non-existent, Which I don’t like,” he said.
“There’s a lot more to come, we don’t think about taking a break anymore. It’s the start of something new and building on what we’ve done so far and knowing and expecting that we can do better. – starting on Boxing Day.”
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Discussing how the World Cup will affect the rest of the season, Klopp added: “The whole year will be incredibly intense for the players playing the World Cup. It’s really, really, really difficult. We’ll have to see how we deal with that, and we’ll be really careful with the information we get.
“It makes it really difficult to plan for the next game because we were 100 per cent clear about what we wanted to do against City and then you have to change so much at the last second, it’s not good. But that’s the situation and it could go against Villa. Well, we need to be flexible.”