Klopp upbeat despite Liverpool losing more ground in title race

Liverpool's James Milner (left) and West Ham United's Andre Ayew battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Anfield
Liverpool's James Milner (left) and West Ham United's Andre Ayew battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Anfield

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is taking a longer-term view of his side’s fortunes this season after more dropped points hurt their title challenge.

A 2-2 draw at home to West Ham meant the Reds, who have taken just five points from the last four matches, fell six points behind leaders Chelsea.

The season is very long and as everybody knows the most intense time is coming now

Jurgen Klopp

Klopp’s side were top of the table a month ago but he insists there is nothing to worry about just yet.

“It’s difficult to stay in the race with Chelsea when they win everything and we didn’t,” he said.

“I don’t think about it. When we were first or second I wasn’t thinking about it. This is the moment to collect points as much as possible.

“The season is very long and as everybody knows the most intense time is coming now.

“At this moment six points behind is not what we wish but we cannot change it. The only thing we can do is do what we do best.”

Divock Origi’s fourth goal in as many matches salvaged a point after a Dimitri Payet free-kick and Michail Antonio’s first non-headed strike of the season had turned things around following Adam Lallana’s fifth-minute opener.

The focus was again on goalkeeper Loris Karius, the man Klopp brought in to replace Simon Mignolet in the summer, whose positioning for Payet’s goal was questionable and came just a week after he was blamed for two goals in the defeat at Bournemouth.

However, Klopp was more concerned about the way his team were leaving themselves open.

“We had not a real formation for protection in these moments,” he added.

“Nearly everybody was involved in our offensive situations and we had two centre-backs and sometimes Hendo (Jordan Henderson) behind the ball, and nearly everybody else the other side.

“We let the game go a little bit away in these moments, we were not completely in control like we could have been.”

West Ham climbed out of the bottom three with a point and with matches coming up against Burnley, Hull, Swansea and Leicester this is an important time for them.

“It was a great point for us and a positive situation before a crucial week for us,” said manager Slaven Bilic.

“We try to get as many points as we can in these four big fixtures on paper.

“Now we have Burnley and Hull at home which will be extremely difficult. We have to show quality and patience.”