Jurgen Klopp admitted it was impossible for him to defend criticism of his players’ attitude as Liverpool’s season reached its nadir.
Liverpool have come off the rails in 2017, winning only one of their last 10 matches in all competitions. They are without a win in the Premier League since December 31 and Klopp accepted they have a battle on their hands to qualify for Europe.
It should not be this way, though, as Liverpool are unbeaten in games against the top six sides this year – they have taken 13 points from seven games against the two Manchester clubs, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham – but have floundered against teams at the bottom end.
It was, Klopp conceded, a woeful performance, one that had no redeeming features and was pockmarked with basic errors that gifted Hull their goals.
‘We gave the first-half away and put ourselves under pressure,’ said Klopp. ‘In the second, we had chances but good saves and Hull’s passionate defending and we gave an easy goal away. We have to take all the criticism.
‘One week ago when I spoke at expectations – you are allowed to have a positive outlook – that we are still fourth in the league – but after a game like this you can’t say anything. We expect more from ourselves. We have to show more than we did today. It’s my responsibility to make it possible.’