Klopp calls for change at Liverpool after UCL humbling
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Klopp calls for change at Liverpool after UCL humbling

Liverpool must "change things" in order to find stability and consistency in the midst of a trying season, coach Jurgen Klopp said ahead of their Premier League game at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Klopp's side are eighth in the Premier League table on 35 points, and have been eliminated from the Carabao Cup and FA Cup after a season blighted by poor form and injuries.

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Following a bad run of results, the Merseyside club had raised spirits at Anfield with 2-0 league wins over Everton and Newcastle United, but Klopp said their crushing 5-2 defeat by Real Madrid in the Champions League has shown there is still work to do.

"Conceding five in the Champions League is not acceptable but it happened anyway," Klopp said at a news conference on Friday.

"We have to change things. The first half [against Madrid] was really good; the second half was the worst start. A lot of things are back but not stable yet.

"We need to find some consistency in the way we play. It cannot be all about emotions ... We just have to start believing in ourselves again and bring our quality on the pitch."

Liverpool are currently seven points off a Champions League place but have two games in hand over fourth-placed Tottenham and have played one game fewer than Newcastle in fifth.

"I'm sorry that I cannot guarantee Champions League in this moment, but we'll fight for it," Klopp said. "It's not done yet, so we don't have to talk about it as if it's not possible.

"But we have to start doing work earlier than before we know where we will end up position-wise and European competition-wise."

Liverpool have some cause for optimism as they look to get back to winning ways against Palace as they have won their last seven league games at Selhurst Park by an aggregate score of 22-6.

Klopp said he was aware of his side's record at the ground, but warned against complacency, saying: "They are tough games with a great atmosphere. Palace are a really cool club in a really cool stadium."

He also provided a fitness update on Ibrahima Konate, Roberto Firmino, Diogo Jota and Virgil van Dijk, after each have struggled with lengthy injury layoffs in recent weeks.

"Ibou is near but he had [only] two sessions after a long injury. We can see that the boys aren't at their best. We are not sure all the boys can play yet after Madrid because of knocks," Klopp said.

"We want to make changes and we will make changes, but when Players come back from long injuries, it takes time. We have this situation now with Bobby [Firmino] and Diogo [Jota], we can see it with Virgil as well.

"Everybody expects Virgil is like a robot, but he played the most games last year, played the World Cup, played every game for his country, came back, from the first second played for us, got injured, comes back [and] plays, plays, plays."

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