Fri, Jan 13, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Klopp admits bamboozling players during loss

AFP, SOUTHAMPTON, England

Southampton’s Nathan Redmond, left, celebrates scoring against Liverpool in their EFL Cup semi-final first leg at St Mary’s in Southampton, England, on Wednesday.

Photo: Reuters

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp admitted he might have bamboozled his players by jotting down a change of tactics on a scrap of paper during his team’s 1-0 defeat to Southampton in their EFL Cup semi-final first leg.

Daniel Sturridge appeared nonplussed when passed the details on the note in the second half at St Mary’s, with other Liverpool players also bemused by Klopp’s switch.

Klopp said he had altered Liverpool’s tactics to 3-5-2 and admitted failing to get the message across to his players quickly enough.

“It was just a new system, however you want to call it, 3-5-2,” Klopp said. “Two wingers, two strikers, that’s all. No more information, but it was enough. I think we were a little bit too late when we gave him the paper when the game was already running on. That was our mistake.”

Despite the loss, Klopp said Liverpool would strike back against Southampton in the second leg, despite being well below their best in the opening salvo of the semi-final in which Nathan Redmond’s cool first-half finish gave the Saints a 1-0 victory.

Redmond missed two more good chances as the home side wasted the opportunity to take complete control of the tie.

Relieved only to lose by one goal, Klopp knows the Anfield atmosphere will propel his players to a more dynamic effort in the return leg on Jan. 25.

“The performance doesn’t feel too good, that’s how it is, but for the final everything is open,” Klopp said. “At this moment there’s two disappointed managers after the game, one because he lost, the other because he won 1-0 and has to go to Anfield, and that’s how it is.”

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