Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has defended Dejan Lovren after he has come under fire following their defeat to Watford over the weekend.
The Merseyside giants slipped to their first league defeat of the season in a shock 3-0 loss at Vicarage Road on Saturday evening.
While they’re still well on course to secure the Premier League title this year, it was undoubtedly a setback as they would have loved to have been pushing to go the entire campaign unbeaten.
That wasn’t to be and after Troy Deeney revealed after the game that he targeted Lovren rather than go up against Virgil van Dijk as he believed he’d have more success, it led to further scrutiny on the Croatian stalwart.
However, Klopp wasn’t having any of it as he defended his player and insisted that there is no blame or criticism of him specifically after Liverpool tasted defeat.
“If anybody gave Dejan Lovren the blame for our defeat then I can’t help these people,” the Liverpool manager said, as quoted by the Guardian. “A lot of times in my life I speak to people who know less than I do about football and that’s OK as I’m a well-paid Premier League manager and I should know more than most people. But, on that level, I can’t discuss it. You have to see the situations.
“Yes, it was a massive challenge for Dejan to play against Troy Deeney. So many other centre-halves in the world would struggle in these specific situations. Joe had problems in similar situations before that. Probably everybody gets it in these situations, that’s how it is.
“Dejan and Joël played sensational games for us but like everybody in life you have to be healthy and then you have to get fit and then you need rhythm. That’s the most difficult thing to get in professional football. When you’re out, you have sessions but you don’t play that often. Dejan is an outstanding centre-half.”
It will be interesting to see if Lovren keeps his place against Chelsea in the FA Cup in midweek, as Liverpool have confirmed that Joe Gomez is fit to feature.
Nevertheless, it surely can’t solely be put on one player after such a convincing defeat, as they simply didn’t perform at the high level that they’ve set all season across the pitch and it resulted in a slip up with both Deeney and Watford deserving of plenty of praise too.