Jürgen Klopp said he remained relaxed about Liverpool’s lack of goals after they spurned the chance to open up a five-point lead over Manchester United at the top of the Premier League.
“I’m OK with it,” said Klopp, following the 0-0 draw with Newcastle for whom Karl Darlow shone in goal.
“Not scoring is concerning if you don’t create,” said Klopp after Liverpool missed a series of chances to win but hold a three-point advantage over United. “If you do create, it’s OK. We should have won at least 1-0 and we have to accept that. I am happy with things I saw tonight. I can work with this performance. That’s why I’m OK.”
His players seemed less sanguine as they prepared to fly back to Merseyside. “The boys are frustrated and rightly so,” added the manager, who revealed Joël Matip will miss another three weeks with his groin injury.
“But not about the performance. I think we had four 100% chances and we didn’t accept them. We created some unbelievable chances but the opposition was good. Newcastle defended with all they had. It was a really good game but not the result we wanted.”
Liverpool may be precisely where they want to be in the league but Klopp refuses to take anything for granted as he bids farewell to 2020. “The last thing I’m thinking about is our position in the table,” he said. “It’s nice but it doesn’t mean anything at the moment.
“I’m just happy 2020 is nearly over. It had one highlight and a lot of challenges. Apart from Liverpool becoming champions it’s not a year I’m going to want to think about a lot in the future.”
Steve Bruce was relieved with the point after some disappointing performances and sustained criticism from Newcastle’s supporters.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with what we’ve done tonight,” he said. “We tried to play further up the pitch and I was pleased the way we went about it. We rode our luck at times and Karl Darlow, who has been terrific all season, made a few saves but we caused them a few problems, stuck at it and got our reward. We’ve put a hell of a shift in.”