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Klopp Talk: It Looked Like If We Lose, We Are Relegated

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The boss talks about what’s driving the team this season - and it’s mostly Jordan Henderson.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool FC - Premier League Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Even when we look tired, even when the wind is against us, we can’t stop winning. It’s incredible. Saturday Liverpool hosted Southampton at Anfield and after letting the visitors get their hopes up in the second half, took everything by winning 4-0 with four goals in the second half. Southampton’s manager Ralph Hassenhutl even breathlessly called us “unbeatable” after the match and considering it’s been literally over a year since we’ve lost at Anfield and have yet to lose a game this season? He’s not wrong.

What did our famously modest manager Jurgen Klopp have to say about that?

“I am not sure that makes us unbeatable but we respect them,” Klopp said following Saturday’s match.

“Honestly, after the game I was really happy but I thought of Norwich (on Sunday week). We have a week off. They play football. We beat them 4-1 but it was similar to Saturday.

“It is not about closing the book of the season after a day like Saturday and thinking it is done. It is not done. It is all about showing the respect for the opposition with the attitude.

”Hendo is one example. There are plenty of others. But did he look like the captain of a team that is 19 points ahead? Not for a second. It looked like if we lose we are relegated. That is how the boys were. That is the only way for us to win a game. It is always the same.”

The team, including captain Jordan Henderson, have been playing out of their skins this season as they march towards a historic 19th, and first Premier League, title. Henderson himself is even enjoying driving the team on, moving back to his preferred attacking midfield position when Fabinho is fit and available - a position that Klopp didn’t even know he played originally but now is keen to take advantage of.

“It was easy to move Hendo,” said the Reds boss. “Fabinho is naturally more a defensive orientated player than Hendo.

“We had to control the counter-attacks of Southampton. He (Fab) has struggled with rhythm. The first two games when he came on it was not Fabinho before he got injured. That is normal so Saturday was a big step for him. He was key for us.

”We needed a calm player in the centre, not too active. That was the change at half-time. We used him more for the switches - find Fabinho, pass to the other side and then accelerate and use the power of Hendo in the half-spaces.

”Hendo can play the wing as well and sometimes we need him there because Ox does not play like Mane, he comes inside.

“Hendo does not play only six. I don’t think he thought a second about it, ‘oh, I play eight again’. It was not a difficult decision.”

Klopp’s ability to make the most of the multiple positions that his players offer him has been on the keys to the way the machine that is Liverpool works. Teaming up Fabinho and Henderson has been vital to that midfield engine, and the two work well together on the pitch. One only has to look at the results and the games to see that fruits of that labor. Henderson has long taken up the slack of other players, playing deeper when we didn’t have a dedicated defensive midfield and even moving into straight defense as a fullback or centerback, but he thrives on playing attacking and moving inside the spaces that our front three or other midfielders don’t. He goes where others won’t or haven’t, and makes use of it.

When this team moves in harmony, when all the working parts work as they should, it’s a sight to behold, and Southampton beheld it on Saturday. Thankfully, now it’s time to rest some tired legs, let the kids take control when Shrewsbury come to town, and keep on as much these Reds can.