Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino has addressed the ongoing difficult period for Jurgen Klopp’s side
Roberto Firmino believes Jurgen Klopp will not allow his players to feel sorry for themselves as injury-hit Liverpool grapple with their worst crisis in confidence in years.
The Reds saw their title defence realistically ended with a 4-1 humbling at home to Manchester City on Sunday which left them 10 points adrift of the runaway leaders in fourth place.
Liverpool have taken only two points from their last five home games after suffering a third successive Anfield league reverse for the first time since 1963.
Klopp spoke after the City defeat of the need for greater character from his players, with Firmino revealing how the Reds boss will look to keep spirits high in the build-up to Saturday’s visit to fellow top-four hopefuls Leicester City.
“He is never negative,” said the Brazilian. “He’s never let our heads go down, he’s always been motivating the team, letting us know what we are capable of, what we demonstrated last year and for us to look ahead.
“He knows what we can achieve.”
Liverpool are now feeling the effects of a litany of injuries this season, most notably at centre-back where Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip are likely to end the campaign having made only 20 Premier League starts between them.
And Firmino added: “It’s difficult, isn’t it? Unfortunately in football injuries are something that can always happen. It has affected us, of course.
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“It was a great loss to our team to lose three great players in Virgil, Joe and (Diogo) Jota before Joel as they are all players who contribute a lot and show what they’re capable of. But we’re not negative about this.
“We always aim to think about the players available in the squad and look to do our best with the players we have. Always thinking positively, believing in our potential and what we can achieve.”
Liverpool’s poor run of home form has coincided with fans once again being locked out of Anfield after a limited number were allowed to attend the December fixtures against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Tottenham Hotspur and West Bromwich Albion.
And while mindful of the difference the famous home support makes, Firmino acknowledges their absence cannot be used as an excuse for the Reds sliding down the Premier League table.
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“Of course, having no fans makes a difference for all teams, but especially for Liverpool,” he said, speaking to the official Liverpool FC matchday programme.
“I wouldn’t say we are depending upon the fans but it makes a lot of difference playing without them.
“It’s an incredible feeling playing in front of of our fans within that atmosphere that they create for us. They’re definitely a 12th man on the pitch.
“But we can’t use their absence as an excuse – we’ve adapted to the way things are now and we’re used to it.
“We think about them, of course, and hope and believe that this pandemic will be over soon and they will be back in the stadiums to motivate us and cheer us on to do our work.”