Jurgen Klopp on Monday Night Football: Liverpool boss reflects on his work so far
By Peter Smith
Last Updated: 26/09/16 10:43pm
Monday Night Football special guest Jurgen Klopp has given a positive assessment of his first 11-and-a-half months in charge of Liverpool - but says there is still "plenty of work to do".
The Reds boss joined Jamie Carragher and David Jones live on Sky Sports to discuss a variety of topics, including the progress he's made at Anfield.
Just 12 days shy of his first anniversary in charge, Klopp - fresh from Saturday's 5-1 win at home to Hull City which lifted Liverpool into fourth spot in the Premier League - was shown some key stats since the start of his tenure.
The German was pleased with his team's goal haul - a league-high 71 - and said his side's possession numbers - an average of 58.8 per cent, another league-high - proved concerns about his players' inability to maintain a high-intensity pressing game when they didn't have the ball shouldn't be an issue.
However, he accepted Liverpool still have issues to resolve when it comes to defending set-pieces. Liverpool have conceded 15 goals from set-pieces since Klopp took over - including a Hull consolation at the weekend.
"We are a ball-possession team," Klopp said. "We have the ball most of the time. I always get asked 'can you play this intensity'. I know we have the ball a lot and in most of the games we have much more [than 58.8% possession]. That's good, we have a good way but we still can do better.
"There's still a lot of work to do. Forty-nine goals conceded is really a big number and 15 conceded from set pieces - that's not good. We still work on it.
"That's an issue for us. Not the biggest this year because we did better already, but of course it always doesn't feel too good when you're really good in the game - like the Hull game - they had no chance and we give a goal away.
"But most of the [set-piece] goals we gave away were in the early stage of [Klopp's time in charge]. When I came here we had to change a few things, we had to change formation [when defending set-pieces] and we always played against specialists in set-pieces, against West Brom, Crystal Palace, West Ham - teams unbelievably strong in this."
Following Liverpool's big win over Hull, their title odds are 5/1, making them second favourites behind Manchester City for the Premier League crown. Klopp said he pays no attention to the betting markets but is encouraged by the mood within his team and around Anfield.
However, he was also quick to point out the 2016/17 season is just six games old and insisted he had already shifted his attention from last weekend's big win onto Liverpool's next fixture, a Sky Live trip to Swansea on Saturday.
"I don't understand the numbers," he said, when shown the Premier League title odds. "It's not important for me. But it's better that we have an optimistic mood around. At this moment Liverpool feels good.
At this moment Liverpool feels good.
"We had this very important game against Hull, where everybody said before 'this is the last real issue they have, they cannot play against teams that defend deeper'. We did it in a really impressive way. But for me it's over. The next game is Swansea.
"Nothing happened. We did our job until now. I'm fine with the moment but not finally happy. It's all good but it could be better.
"It's not the worst table we've had - maybe it's the best since I've been here! It's nice. But the problem is the one number: six games. It's quite early stages. I'm happy about this but I know there's a long way to go."
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