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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes the squad is tired mentally and not physically

Sturridge, Milner and Henderson will supposedly return to the 'mentally tired' first team ahead of a tough list of fixtures for the Reds

jurgen klopp
Klopp’s Liverpool face Arsenal and Manchester United in the Premier League after fulfilling their cup duties

Liverpool are in the middle of a hectic schedule of fixtures after having played three matches in a week but manager Jurgen Klopp insists that his squad is tired mentally and not physically. The Reds lost their latest fixture 2-0 to West Ham United on Saturday and will face Stoke City and then Exeter City next in a span of three days.

Liverpool has recently been inflicted with an injury crisis and eight players have started in the last three fixtures, thus giving Klopp no chances whatsoever to rotate the squad. The German’s high-intensity style of football is being conjectured to be the reason behind the injuries.

It is a matter of great concern as the Reds are to step into a busy January schedule which kick starts with their Capital One Cup semi-final first-leg encounter against Stoke City. The ex-Dortmund manager told reporters that Liverpool’s lack of energy in the game against West Ham was down to tired minds and it had nothing to do with the physical aspect of his players.

“I couldn’t see today a physical problem, really. Sure it is intensive, but physical problems come when you get tired in the mind, then the body follows,” he said.

“Nobody today was tired. We were fit enough to go 93 minutes, so that is not a problem. Again, the game woke us up.”

Liverpool now sit eight in the Premier League with 30 points and chances of finishing in the fourth place growing thinner by the day. They are now heavily dependent on their Cup performances for redemption and need a win in the two-legged Capital One Cup semi-final to get a chance to go to Wembley for the final.

Daniel Sturridge, James Milner and Jordan Henderson are to return to the first team when Liverpool faces Stoke City while some of the younger players might get the chance display their talent in the game against Exeter. Ryan Kent is one such option who has been called back from his loan spell at Coventry.

Klopp accepts the “challenge” that lies ahead for his team and when he was asked about the defeat in West London he said,

“More or less important than the last week?! Of course, we have Stoke and Exeter now. I know about this, and now we have to look at who can play, who is fit enough, whatever.

“We play in three days, and then again three days later. That’s the first challenge. But at the moment I am only thinking about West Ham, and the few words I told the team immediately after the game.

“It was not the worst game I ever saw in my life, but the problem was that I saw what we could have reached, yet we got nothing.

“You can talk about good crosses or West Ham hitting the post, or bad defending by ourselves.

“But for the rest of the game we had the ball, we passed it, we were around the box and we didn’t shoot or pass in the right moment, we did not have consistency in our crosses and things like this. We could have won today, and we lost 2-0. That’s really not good.”

Klopp feels conceding a goal early in the match has been a problem for the team

In two of their previous games with Chelsea and Southampton, Liverpool had conceded a goal in the very first 10 minutes, but they eventually went on to win both the games. This trend has become a thing of concern for the Reds. When Klopp was asked about it he said,

“Yes of course. We have spoken three times more about this, and it is not good.

“We had the situation where we kicked off, and West Ham played the first ball very easy into Andy Carroll, as you would expect.

“Then we are under pressure, and we are trying to pass balls on the half-volley, on the chest and in the air, and you think ‘what are they doing?!’

“You cannot control balls like this, but that’s how it was. I’m not lucky with this!”

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