Jurgen Klopp vows Liverpool can turn around EFL Cup tie against Southampton

11 January 2017 11:38

Jurgen Klopp has backed Liverpool to "strike back" against Southampton at Anfield and reach the EFL Cup final.

The lacklustre Reds lost out 1-0 at St Mary's in the semi-final first leg on Wednesday night thanks to Nathan Redmond's cool finish.

Redmond missed two further fine chances as the Saints blew the opportunity to take total control of the last-four clash, leaving Klopp admitting both managers would have been frustrated at the result.

But Liverpool's German boss has still backed his side to overturn the deficit in the second leg at Anfield on January 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.

"We will strike back, we will be a different team, different side - everything will be different at Anfield.

"So for us it's still possible to go to Wembley, and that's the target. That's the only comfort to take from tonight.

"Losing 1-0 is the third-best result you can get. I don't like it too much, but it's still possible."

Daniel Sturridge appeared nonplussed by a change of tactics in the second half, when passed details on a sheet of paper, with other Liverpool players also bemused by Klopp's switch.

The former Borussia Dortmund manager revealed he had altered Liverpool's tactics to 3-5-2, and admitted failing to get the message across to his players quickly enough.

Liverpool next take on Manchester United at Old Trafford in Sunday's Premier League encounter, with Klopp demanding an immediate upswing in performance from his side.

"It was just a new system, however you want to call it, 3-5-2," said Klopp. "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.

"Seven or eight could see it but Roberto (Firmino) needed a bit longer. So things like this happen.

"I've tried already three or four times now but I cannot make this result better.

"The start was good, really good, we played how we wanted to play.

"If we'd done that for 90 minutes it would have been very difficult for Southampton to cope with it. But after we conceded one goal the game changed.

"I'm not used to a reaction like this from my boys but we have to accept that tonight it was not good.

"Then again we were dominant in the second half, even though they had a few counter-attacks that's not a problem.

"We didn't have many chances.

"We have to show a reaction against Southampton, but it would be cool to show a reaction at the weekend because we'll probably need a better performance at Old Trafford."

Southampton boss Claude Puel admitted his side should probably have secured a greater winning margin - but insisted the Saints can still progress to the final.

"It's a little frustration that this win was just 1-0," said Puel, whose side are in league action against Burnley on Saturday.

"With just a little more luck we could have been further ahead.

"But I think it was important to keep this result with a clean sheet, with a win, and to sustain our chances of qualifying for the final.

"It was a great performance here, and I believe they had just one chance in the whole game, so it's a good performance from my players.

"Now it's important to keep this attitude and this level for the Premier League, and this game against Burnley is very important for us."

Source: PA