Jurgen Klopp is demanding a "completely different approach" from his Liverpool Players in their trip to Chelsea on Tuesday night. The Reds head to Stamford Bridge to face a team who have just sacked their manager but Klopp and co have plenty of problems of their own after being thrashed by Manchester City.
Liverpool were dire defensively at the Etihad, where they lost 4-1, and left their own manager baffled by their lackadaisical defending. Klopp said post-match: "We cannot not have challenges in key areas. We cannot be that kind of open. It's not possible. But it happened. I have to explain it but I can't. I can only describe it."
And after a series of 'crisis' meetings, Klopp is demanding a rapid reaction. His charges' chances of Champions League qualification hang by a thread in a week where they face Chelsea away from home and league leaders Arsenal at Anfield on Sunday.
The Liverpool manager insists the Merseyside outfit must get back to basics and wants his Players to start snapping into tackles again as they look to bounce back in London. The German said: "It's about basics. It is not rocket science or has not turned into rocket science overnight.
"football is based on basics, definitely, and yes I was not happy with it but I said that directly after the game. We did not tackle (against City). First goal, a pass to the outside and no challenge. Square ball and a goal.
"The third goal is four or five versus one and then a pass arrives still in the box. That is not possible. We have to make sure we have a completely different approach to challenges, that is 100 per cent true."
Klopp - who admitted on Monday afternoon were it not for his previous success at Liverpool then his future would be under real scrutiny - also wants an end to the inquests. His team sat down after the City defeat to discuss their problems and how to address them.
Liverpool came agonisingly close to winning the quadruple last term but have now lost more Premier League games in 2023 (five of 10) than they did in the entirety of 2022 (P35 - W24, D7, L4). And Klopp continued: "You have so many meetings. We have so many meetings but it is not about talking anymore but delivering, it is about doing.
"That is what the message is actually. Over the season we spoke about everything pretty much 100 per cent on one specific point, just because on the table it is clear, you have to. You cannot just close your eyes and hope it gets better.
"But it is up to us to deliver. In moments you have to talk but I don't think there is anyone there really who can explain the drop [in performance] between the two halves (at City). They know what happened, so we have to change it."
After sacking Graham Potter on Sunday, Chelsea will be managed by ex-Brighton defender Bruno Saltor at Stamford Bridge. The two teams drew 0-0 at Anfield in January but Liverpool have not lost away to the Blues in the league since May 2018, going four unbeaten since.