Ahead of Liverpool’s manager against Stoke City, Jürgen Klopp spoke of his side’s confidence. He spoke of a side good enough and strong enough, mentally and physically, to challenge for the title this season. Following a 4-1 victory over Stoke City, he talked about confidence again.
“Confidence is not a problem at the moment,” noted the Liverpool manager. “We know about our quality. We don’t show it all the time, and the start of the game was really difficult because the plan of Stoke was obviously to press really high, especially with the two strikers.
“We were not patient enough in our passing game in these moments. It was pressure, but we could have done much better. So it became a wild game and when they had the ball it was immediately in the air and Crouch was outstanding. We had to work really hard and the game was completely open.”
Stoke made things hard for Liverpool for at least the first half of the first half, but even when the visitors pulled ahead early, Liverpool’s quality and confidence in the end won out. It’s something recent Liverpool sides that have lacked the latter haven’t regularly been able to do.
Liverpool stumbled following Jonathan Walters’ headed goal against the early run of play, and for a time the game tilted towards Stoke’s, but Liverpool steadied and pushed back. After they got the equalizer, there only looked one side in it, making for a positive result but one that gives Liverpool plenty to work on.
“A lot of things we could have done better,” Klopp added, “but we forced two goals with our quality and then we could adjust a little bit at half-time and speak about a few things. The boys did better and scored a wonderful third goal and then Daniel closed the game. That was really important.”