Saturday 23 February 2019

Klopp - 'back to square one after cup loss'

- Liverpool boss promises improvement at Huddersfield

- West Brom manager Pardew blasts video ref after win


Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits it is back to square one after two unbeaten runs were ended in the space of six days.

Having seen an 18-match undefeated run in all competitions come to a crashing halt at Swansea on Monday, their 3-2 FA Cup fourth-round defeat to West Brom saw a 19-game home record ended.

It was the first time the Reds had lost back-to-back matches in exactly 12 months, coincidentally also an FA Cup exit - to SkyBet Championship side Wolves.

Klopp has to turn things around quickly as his side travel to Huddersfield tomorrow where he faces best friend David Wagner in a match they cannot afford to lose.

"It was not the first game I lost. It is just a bad feeling but it is deserved," he said.

"To be honest I think it makes sense that I sleep another night on it, it makes it not better but it's a few more hours to realise what really happened.

"We have to really think about what happened and make ourselves ready for Huddersfield. A long run starts with the first game and that's on Tuesday."

By contrast, West Brom are upwardly mobile after four matches unbeaten and just one defeat in the last six games.

They head to runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City in midweek but in striker Jay Rodriguez (inset), whose two-goal performance at Anfield was witnessed by England manager Gareth Southgate, they have a man in form with five goals in his last six matches.

Nevertheless, Pardew is keen to bring in another forward.

"He (Rodriguez) will stop reacting if someone doesn't come in," said the Baggies boss.

"When I was a player, if a club bought a central midfielder I am going to war, he ain't taking my place.

"There is a bit of that in Jay. Salomon (Rondon) is playing the best football of his career. We have two strikers bang in form."

On the effect the win at Anfield will have on his second-bottom side, Pardew added: "Hopefully it gives us confidence to be fearless, which I think we were.

"We have been very good, very positive without getting the three or four goals.

"(At Anfield) We looked a side who can. We are going to try and bring a striker in and that will help us."

Pardew was critical of the application of the Video Assistant Referee system during his side's win.

Three major incidents in the first half alone required the intervention of technology - including the first time a match referee has used a pitchside television replay.

And although it eventually led to the correct decisions being made, the time it took - with almost four minutes elapsing between Mohamed Salah being fouled and Craig Pawson awarding a penalty which Roberto Fimino missed - left supporters and players on all sides angry and frustrated.

Prior to that Craig Dawson had his header ruled out after VAR ruled Gareth Barry was in an offside position in front of goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

"It's hard to know where to start. I don't think that is what you would want to see going forward," said Pardew. "There is no communication from the referee to us.

"He reverses the Dawson goal, which would never had been disallowed in any league game, for offside. That was a bit of a surprise. It is really marginal.

"The bigger one, it was four minutes, five minutes for the Salah one so you are going from high tempo to nothing.

"We had a hamstring (injury) just after so we are going to have to get our players to do a warm-up or keep them ticking over.

"There was a lot of Scouse wit from the sidelines which I enjoyed."

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