Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has confirmed his intention to continue to show faith in two players that were heavily criticised in the Tottenham defeat.
The Reds slipped to ninth place in the Premier League table after the loss, and now sit 12 points adrift of leaders Man City as they look to keep up with the pack for a top-four finish this season.
However, there was real disappointment after the Tottenham game in particular due to their defensive performance, with goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and defender Dejan Lovren receiving heavy criticism for their poor displays.
Lovren is arguably a little more difficult to defend given that he was ultimately all at sea at Wembley and had to be hauled off in the first half to avoid further damage being inflicted.
As for Mignolet, he could have done better in the build-up to Tottenham’s fourth goal, as he merely pushed the ball back into the danger zone after making a decent stop.
It’s not enough for Klopp to make a change between the posts though, as the Belgian shot-stopper will start against Huddersfield on Saturday.
“Simon will play,” Klopp said, as per ESPN. “I didn’t think a second about changing this position.” Further, when asked if he thought it would be harsh to drop him after one poor outing, Klopp added: “Absolutely. Yes.”
“That was the first mistake I can remember from Simon in the last few weeks. In our world then people go for him. The criticism is harsh but that’s how it is.”
Klopp didn’t quite offer the same assurances over Lovren’s position in the team, but you’d have to think that dropping the Croatian international would be the most sensible decision this weekend to take him out of the firing line.
In contrast, much depends on his mentality as a player as that could be devastating for his confidence moving forward and so Klopp has a tricky decision to make.
Either way, Liverpool have to defend better as a collective if they have ambitions of breaking into the top four again this season and even closing the gap on their rivals at the top of the standings.