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Saturday 3 December 2016

Klopp begins healing process by looking at himself in mirror

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Photo: Ruben Sprich/Reuters
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Photo: Ruben Sprich/Reuters

Jurgen Klopp will begin the post-mortem into Liverpool's Europa League final loss to defending champions Sevilla by taking a long look at his own performance.

Liverpool lost 3-1 despite having led through a brilliant Daniel Sturridge strike as they fell apart in the second half , with neither the players nor their manager able to do anything to halt the decline.

It was a chastening experience for all but particularly Klopp who, having inspired a remarkable comeback against Borussia Dortmund in the last eight, has now lost his last five finals.

His credentials are not in question as the progress made since he took over from Brendan Rodgers in October is evident but that will not stop the German analysing himself - before turning the spotlight on his squad.

"The first thing you have to do when you look at the man in the mirror is criticise yourself," he said.

"As manager of the team all I have to do is self-criticise.

"It is all about us, all about me. It is my job to help the players to react in different situations better. I can improve a lot."

Despite some encouraging performances this season there has been a lack of consistency while the Reds have reached two finals in quick succession and not won either, losing February's League Cup final to Manchester City on penalties.

Having not utilised the January transfer window to bolster his squad Klopp has already signed Schalke centre-back Joel Matip and Red Star Belgrade midfielder Marko Grujic for next season - and there will be more arrivals over the summer.

But after an exhausting 63-match campaign there will be no European football next season and that will benefit Klopp as he seeks to properly stamp his mark on the club.

"It is clear we are not in a European tournament next year so we will have time to train and we will for sure come back stronger," he added.

"Of course this team will be a little bit different next year but we will do something with transfers first.

"Hopefully the players all come back (from Euro 2016) healthy and we have no injury problems for pre-season."

Prior to the match against Sevilla Klopp and his players had insisted they had learned from their League Cup final defeat to City.

After being completely overrun in the second half at St Jakob-Park with no response the manager knows there is still some way to go on the education front.

"We need to use the experience because I am sure we will again be in a final and we will have decisive moments and we will react better," he said.

"This was the players' first big final, but unfortunately it is the second time (they have lost a final) this season."

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