Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has admitted that last season’s quadruple hunt has taken a physical and mental toll on his side.
The Reds won both the FA Cup and Carabao Cup last season and wanted to also add Premier League and Champions League glory, only to come up short to Manchester City in the race for the former and fall to Real Madrid in the final of the latter.
This season, Liverpool have fallen well short of those lofty heights, sitting 16 points behind current league leaders Arsenal and battling a number of injuries to key players. Klopp has now confessed that the toll of last year may be setting in.
Asked whether the 63-game season had played a part in their current struggles, Klopp replied: “It must have. We can say that now.
“There was no book written about it, there was no data about it. There was nothing about it because nobody played that many games ever before.
“Outside the club they are speaking as if we are bottom of the table. There are times when you just have to get through it.”
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Virgil van Dijk, Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino have all been sidelined through injury, while questions have been asked of a number of Liverpool’s regular starters over their failure to match their outputs from last season.
Already out of the Carabao Cup and fortunate to scrape a third-round replay against Wolves in the FA Cup, Liverpool have a date with Real Madrid in the Champions League round of 16 are face an uphill battle to end the current campaign with any silverware.