Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admitted he may have bamboozled his players by jotting down a change of tactics on a scrap of paper during his team’s 1-0 defeat to Southampton in the first-leg of the League Cup semi-finals.
Striker Daniel Sturridge appeared nonplussed when passed the details on the note in the second half at St Mary’s, with other Liverpool players also bemused by Klopp’s switch. Former Borussia Dortmund manager Klopp revealed he had altered Liverpool’s tactics to 3-5-2, and admitted failing to get the message across to his players quickly enough.
“It was just a new system, however you want to call it, 3-5-2,” said Klopp. “Two wingers, two strikers, that’s all. No more information, but it was enough. I think we were a little bit too late when we gave him the paper when the game was already running on. That was our mistake.”
“Seven or eight could see it but Roberto (Firmino) needed a bit longer. So things like this happen.”
Despite the loss, Klopp insisted Liverpool will strike back against Southampton in the second leg despite being well below their best in the opening salvo of the semi-final in which Nathan Redmond’s cool first half finish gave the Saints a 1-0 victory at St Mary’s.
Redmond missed two more good chances as the home side wasted the opportunity to take complete control of the tie. Relieved only to lose by one goal, Klopp knows the Anfield atmosphere will propel his players to a more dynamic effort in the return leg on January 25 and he believes that could be enough to secure a Wembley date with Manchester United or Hull.
“The performance doesn’t feel too good, that’s how it is. But for the final everything is open,””Klopp said. “At this moment there are two disappointed managers after the game, one because he lost, the other because he won 1-0 and has to go to Anfield, and that’s how it is.”