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Klopp's Next Project: Avoiding Early Defensive Lapses

Although the Reds have been greatly improved about responding to an early conceded goal under Klopp than his predecessor, the gaffer still sees this as a trend that needs to be addressed.

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In his short time as Liverpool boss, Jürgen Klopp has been excellent at spotting and addressing problems one by one. In his first press conference, he spoke of needing to improve the defense. Check. Then he spoke about improving confidence. Check. Now, he's turning his focus on the team's focus, particularly their lack thereof at the early stages of a match.

"It's not allowed to start a game like we did against Southampton, Chelsea and Crystal Palace," the charismatic German said in his pre-match presser. "I told the lads if you do it once, you can ignore [it]. If you do it twice, you have to talk about it. If you do it three times, you have to change it immediately - and we did it three times."

"So that's the first thing - to be concentrated from the first second onwards and only be focused on our targets. If you travel to Newcastle, there's no other reason [to do so] other than to get as many points as you can. That's what we have to do and be prepared."

Klopp's ability to single out and focus on specific problems one at a time has been an important factor in Liverpool's quick turn-around in the last two months.

While it is never preferable to concede early in a match, it is noteworthy that the team is playing with far more confidence in order to still get maximum points by overcoming the early deficit, as they did in big ways against Chelsea and Southampton. A case could be made that they were unlucky not to at least come away with a result against Crystal Palace as well.

Early goals are a part of the game. But hopefully they will become less common now that Klopp is emphasizing full concentration from the opening whistle.

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