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Klopp Focused on Process, Not Results

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The Reds manager refuses to panic over the recent run of results.

Manchester City v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Hey, guys, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Liverpool haven’t won a game in forever or three weeks or something in between and their defense is bad and now all their defenders are injured anyway so it’s pretty much guaranteed that the season will be a failure and everybody will be exposed as frauds. So that’s pretty bad.

Well, at least a few of those things are true. Four games without a win is a pretty long run for a side with aspirations of challenging for the league title and the knockout rounds of the Champions League, the side has conceded 14 goals in 8 matches — which could indicate a porous defense, depending on how you define that — and three of the four supposed starters in the backline are various levels of unhealthy right now.

The rest is mostly histrionic speculation, however, and if there’s one man who doesn’t deal in that particular currency, it is Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp.

“They [the fans] expect us to win football games and we could have won all of them but we didn’t,” mused Klopp during his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s Leicester match. “There are two messages: we didn’t and we could have. We could have means we were really close and we were really good.

“Now we can stop or let them get a little bit less, a little bit less, take the confidence of them and think ‘playing good is very important but much more important is to somehow get a result.’ That is not how football works.

“We have to improve, we have to do it again. We win the football game and everybody is happy, we don’t win it and everyone has enough reasons why we will never win a football game again. That’s how it is. For me, it is not a problem.”

Focusing on process over performance is the right move from the manager. It allows players to keep their minds on things that are in their control, and away from the consequences of results, good or bad. Assuming that the tasks they are focusing on are the right ones, this should allow performance and, consequently, results to improve.

That latter assumption is the big one, however, and given how consistently the Reds have struggled with the same issues — namely defensive transitions and set pieces — for the entirety of Klopp’s tenure, one would be forgiven for questioning the efficacy of the process taking place at Melwood.

A new chance to prove that it’s working — and that the team has merely been on the receiving end of a run of bad fortune — is coming up on Saturday, as the Reds look to avenge their EFL Cup exit in their return to the King Power stadium.