Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp takes blame for Daniel Sturridge failing to thank fans
By Charlotte Marsh
Last Updated: 02/05/16 10:08am
Jurgen Klopp took the blame after Daniel Sturridge failed to acknowledge Liverpool fans following a 3-1 defeat at Swansea at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday.
Klopp named the youngest-ever Reds side in the Premier League, but they were over-run by a Swansea side looking to secure their top-flight status.
Andre Ayew scored twice and Jack Cork added to the tally with a fantastic curler, after Christian Benteke had reduced the deficit for Liverpool, who ended the game with 10 men after Brad Smith was sent off.
Sturridge hits back at critics
Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge hits back at 'disrespectful' critics
Sturridge failed to thank the travelling fans after the final whistle - and has hinted recently that he could leave the club if he doesn't get more first-team football - but Klopp refused to criticise the striker for his actions.
"If someone forgot to say thank you to the fans, then it's my fault and nobody else's," the manager said.
"If you think we ignore the fans it's not what we wanted. I went too immediately. Hopefully our fans know how close we are to them. After a game like this, he wants to leave and go home, recover and do a lot of things."
Liverpool put in a lacklusture performance at the Liberty Stadium following their midweek Europa League semi-final against Villarreal, and Klopp was disappointed with the performance his young side produced.
He added: "The first two goals were too easy and too simple for Swansea. We deserved the defeat and they deserved the win but I think a big part of this result was our performance so we have to accept this, recover and prepare again and play much better.
"Our performance was not as good as possible. With this line up, we tried to bring fresh legs and fresh minds. I'm only frustrated and disappointed because I know we could have played better.
"It's not important now but if we could have played a little bit better, closer to our 100 per cent then it would have been a completely different game."
Klopp had made eight changes from Thursday evening's 1-0 first-leg defeat in Spain, but refused to admit the Europa League was more important than the domestic league with the winners guaranteed Champions League football next season.
"Now, in this moment, we take each game as it is from now on," the German said.
"So it's the Europa League, then next Sunday, it's the Premier League. Do you really think we say 'let's put everything in this game and ignore the rest of these games' - that's not how we can work.
"We played really well in the last few games with different line-ups and today we didn't and that's less surprising than the good games we played with ten changes and things like this.
"After Bournemouth, after Stoke, after all of these games, everyone says 'how good are these young players?' and they are good, but that's how it is.
"Life as a professional footballer player is not always a honeymoon, so you have to prove yourself and deliver. Today, it didn't work too well but that's not a problem for the future, it's only problem for today... It's not about the squad or something, it's only about today."