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reds' rusty period Jurgen Klopp says 'football problems you solve with football' after Saints' defeat

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 Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp with Sadio Mane after the Premier League defeat to Southampton at St Mary's Stadium

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp with Sadio Mane after the Premier League defeat to Southampton at St Mary's Stadium

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp with Sadio Mane after the Premier League defeat to Southampton at St Mary's Stadium

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has conceded his side are going through a rusty moment, as he urged them to fight through their problems after a 1-0 defeat against Southampton at St Mary's Stadium.

Danny Ings opened the scoring after just two minutes giving Southampton the lead after a well worked free-kick and while Liverpool pushed for an equaliser in the second half, they struggled to create clear cut chances.

Klopp made few excuses after the game, as he said his side needed to make big improvements after they were demoted to second favourites (23/10) in the Premier League title race by the bookies behind new front runners Manchester City (4/5).

"We are going through a rusty period," stated Klopp, as his side failed to win for a third successive games after draws against West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle.

"What was disappointing? How long have we got - the start obviously. Not only the goal but the start in general.

"You know exactly what you are going to get from them, you cannot be surprised but we looked surprised. At the beginning how we played, where we lost the balls, it's not rocket science. We should have done much better. We played into their hands with the start.

"They put a lot of work in. Our decision making was just not good. That is how it is when you don't have momentum. We should have had much more chances.

"These are outstanding players, but they were not ready from the start. Sadio Mane should have had a penalty tonight, and there was the handball - I've no idea.

"It's not an excuse for the performance but you can get a point if they are given. Now we have to show a reaction.

"Of course we worry, these are our problems. But football problems you solve with football. We know the situation, we are not silly. We have to show a reaction, 100 per cent.

"Southampton deserved it, they ran their socks off. They did really well, that is clear. I am mostly concerned by our game though and I didn’t like it too much."

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Southampton's Danny Ings celebrates scoring their first goal Pool via REUTERS/Naomi Baker

Southampton's Danny Ings celebrates scoring their first goal Pool via REUTERS/Naomi Baker

Southampton's Danny Ings celebrates scoring their first goal Pool via REUTERS/Naomi Baker

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson backed up his manager's comments, as he admitted the champions now need to react to their most worrying run of form in a couple of seasons.

"Starting slowly in games is not us," Henderson told Sky Sports. "We didn't score again, we've had chances and not put the ball in the back of the net in the last two games.

"The second half performance was good but we don’t score again – and that’s another issue.

"We are frustrated and disappointed but that happens in football. How you deal with it is the main thing. We have an FA Cup tie against Aston Villa and then (Manchester) United in the league.

"We have to react quickly and bounce back quickly because the last few games in terms of results haven’t been good enough."

Anfield great Jamie Carragher echoed the words of Sunday World columnist John Aldridge as he suggested the title may well change hands unless Liverpool sign a central defender in this month's transfer window.

"I didn't see that coming, I expected a reaction from Liverpool on the back of two really poor performances," Carragher told Sky Sports. "We've just seen another one. Liverpool's away form this season is so poor.

"When it comes to chances created, they haven't looked like scoring, even tonight again. Did Forster have to make a good save, a big save? Did anyone miss a real chance where they had to score?

"That is a really big worry for Liverpool at the moment, in terms of what they are creating away from home. It's nowhere near enough.

"This Liverpool team is amazing but it's going through one of its first rough real patches it has been through in the past two seasons. The big worry is where are the goals and creation coming from, because it's been non-existent.

"I can't see Liverpool winning the league if they don't bring in a centre-back. It's a really tough ask if they don't bring anyone in.

"The fact they played Jordan Henderson at centre-back is not going to do a lot for the two lads on the bench (Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips) and their confidence if they have two midfielders playing there.

"Henderson is not a centre-back. He did well, but it's not his position."

With Klopp looking for a reaction, his next two fixtures offer real intrigue as Liverpool face Aston Villa in the FA Cup, where he will be looking for revenge after the 7-2 defeat earlier in the season.

That will be followed by Manchester United at home in two weeks-time, with the winning finishing that game at the top of the Premier League.

Additional reporting by Jack Ingleby

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