Jürgen Klopp has cited Marcus Rashford’s recovery at Manchester United as the perfect example for Liverpool’s underperforming players in their quest to regain top form.
The Liverpool manager admits a number of his players are struggling for form and confidence after a miserable run that has left the team out of both domestic cup competitions and 10 points off Champions League qualification in ninth place, as they visit Wolves on Saturday. Klopp has called on Liverpool to “fight through” their problems, and claimed Rashford’s revival at their fiercest rivals should encourage any player experiencing a slump.
“We can all see that some players didn’t exactly reach the level they reached for us consistently over five or six years,” said Klopp, whose team are without a Premier League win in 2023. “That’s not unusual – it happens to other players as well. One of the best examples ever probably will be Marcus Rashford. The season he had last year and the season he has this year, I’m not sure he can really explain it. Erik ten Hag coming in, new boys, a different approach, of course it makes a difference, but it’s not as though Marcus didn’t want to deliver last year. Now he is flying. That’s how it goes.
“The times in between these two extremes we have to use and fight through it. Self-pity is not allowed in these moments. We are human beings and we know there are moments when you think: ‘Oh my God, everything is going against me.’ There’s only one person who can change that and it’s yourself. For the player it’s a situation which he will face during a long career. Not only once but probably two or three times. You have to get through this and the players I know, my players, they will go through that and show again how good they are.”
Fabinho is among those who have suffered a stark drop in form at Liverpool this season. The Brazil international has lost his place to 18-year-old Stefan Bajcetic and was fortunate not to be sent off for a dangerous foul on Evan Ferguson when introduced in the FA Cup defeat at Brighton last Sunday.
Klopp said: “Fab knows he is not flying and has to work his way back. It’s now really helpful that we have Stefan. He is doing really well and you need in this position the guy who wants to win challenges, protects everybody and who plays football as well. Fab did that for us for many years, absolutely brilliantly, the best in his position for a long time, and at the moment it’s not clicking. You have to go through that. He’s now not the happiest person on the planet but he understands the decision.”