Wolves’ Paul Lambert proud but Jürgen Klopp admits: ‘We’re not flying’

• ‘This surpasses everything because of gulf in league,’ says Lambert
• Klopp warns Liverpool ‘must improve’ against Chelsea on Tuesday

Paul Lambert praised his side’s spirit and fighting quality as Wolves dumped Liverpool out of the FA Cup, nominating this victory as the most satisfying of an already impressive personal record at Anfield.

“I have never lost here as a player or manager,” Lambert said. “That’s with Celtic, Villa and Norwich, but this surpasses everything because of the gulf in the league and the players. I thought we deserved to win, I really did. On the counterattack I thought we were incredible. We had four 18‑year‑olds in the squad and to a man they were outstanding.

“Liverpool might have made a few changes but I made six myself. I expected us to perform, and I just thought if the young players could hold their nerve, thrive on the atmosphere rather than fear it, we’d have a chance. Only a fool would think it would be easy, but that’s how it worked out. If you have good team spirit and a good rapport with the fans you always have a chance.”

Jürgen Klopp, watching his side slump to a third home defeat in a week for the first time since 1998, was considerably less ecstatic. “In this moment we feel really bad,” the Liverpool manager said. “I feel responsible for this performance. I made a lot of changes and I thought we could do better, but we couldn’t. It’s not that I feel let down by the players, but I am still learning about what they can do. It’s very disappointing. Cup games like this are always tough and we are not full of confidence at the moment after the two previous defeats. We are not flying, and we started in the worst possible way. Conceding a goal in the first minute made everything easier for Wolves and more difficult for us.”

Klopp conceded this might be the lowest point of his Anfield reign, but suggested there was only one way to go from such a position. “If it is impossible to go any lower it is a good time to start to turn things around,” he said.

Unfortunately it is far from impossible for Liverpool to go lower. The league leaders, Chelsea, are the visitors on Tuesday for an encounter that could now spell the end of Liverpool’s season. Anfield statisticians had to reach for the record books to discover the last time Liverpool lost four successive home games; it happened in 1923 with defeats by Newcastle, Cardiff, Sheffield United and Aston Villa. “Today was obviously not good and we must improve in the next game,” Klopp said, “even if the next opponent has the highest quality in the Premier League.”

Contributor

Paul Wilson at Anfield

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