Defeat should deflate 'crazy' Liverpool hype: Klopp
LIVERPOOL manager Juergen Klopp voiced hope that his team's 2-0 defeat at Newcastle United would puncture some of the giddiness engendered by their recent resurgence.
Liverpool were elevated to potential Premier League champions by some observers following a run of seven wins in eight games in all competitions, which saw them move to within sight of the Champions League places.
But Sunday's defeat, inflicted by a Martin Skrtel own goal and a late Georginio Wijnaldum strike, left them six points off the top four in seventh place and Klopp said it was a timely reminder of the improvements that his team still have to make.
"If you think after a few weeks everything is perfect, it's a little bit crazy, no?" the German told a post-match press conference.
On suggestions that his team had played their way into the title picture, he gestured to the journalists sitting in front of him and said: "Everybody on this side of the table, maybe.
"I didn't hear anybody on this side (his side) of the table talk about this.
"I have no problem with everything you can talk about but please don't ask me because of this. I didn't say before, so why should I explain now why we are not?
"We feel this defeat. We know it's deserved but it hurts, like it should."
The key, Klopp said, was "not going nuts when you win, not getting crazy when you lose".
"It's not a reality check," he added. "It's only a bad game."
Liverpool had won 6-1 at Southampton in the League Cup on Wednesday but a side showing six changes toiled badly at St James' Park, registering only one attempt on target.
Wijnaldum's shot was turned in for an own goal by Skrtel in the 69th minute and with the visitors pushing for an equaliser, Moussa Sissoko freed Wijnaldum to loft a sweet finish over Simon Mignolet in added time.
Klopp was frustrated that Alberto Moreno had seen a lobbed effort chalked off for a questionable offside call at 1-0 - he called it a "world-class goal" - but he also found a partial explanation for his side's disappointing display in the failure of their high press.
Asked what had gone wrong, Klopp replied: "Nearly everything. The start, the middle and the end.
"Open game, with no rhythm from our side. Our defending in the last line was good. Our midfield pressing was not good. I couldn't see offensive pressing."
Newcastle remain in the bottom three, on goal difference, but manager Steve McClaren expressed optimism that his side's performance would prove a "lightbulb moment" in their season.