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shocked 'This is a collapse' - Gary Neville on where it has gone wrong for Liverpool

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Liverpool's Mohamed Salah looks to the sky during the 1-0 defeat to Fulham. Clive Brunskill/PA Wire.

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah looks to the sky during the 1-0 defeat to Fulham. Clive Brunskill/PA Wire.

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah looks to the sky during the 1-0 defeat to Fulham. Clive Brunskill/PA Wire.

Gary Neville has suggested his own experience led him to believe Liverpool would face a dip in fortunes this season, but he suggests the scale of their current slump will do long term damage to Jurgen Klopp's side.

Liverpool were top of the table and Premier League title favourites on Christmas Day, but they have suffered a disastrous run of form that has put their hopes of a top four finish in peril.

Manchester United legend Neville has not hidden his delight at Liverpool's slide, but he admits the unprecedented nature of the collapse has taken him by surprise.

"How bad are Liverpool? They're really bad… When I say that, I mean really bad in sight of how good they've been," he said on the Gary Neville Podcast.

"We all like different styles of football and for me, if you said put Manchester City over the last three years against Liverpool, I'm taking Liverpool all day long.

"Their speed of play, the aggression in their play, their style of play, I love it. I love the front three, I love the way the back four played, their goalkeeper is outstanding.

"Liverpool have been absolutely outstanding and reached unbelievable heights and I said a few weeks ago on this podcast that it was acceptable that they would have a little bit of a dip and I would go easy on them.

"We could never do it in the fourth year at Man Utd, there was always that dip, but this isn't a dip - this is a collapse. They're woeful at the moment in every single way.

"I don't know what it is. I'm sure there's no panic there, I'm sure Jurgen Klopp has got the experience and quality and he will know that he needs to get his team to the finish. He needs to get this season over and limp over the line, even wheelbarrow them over the line if he has to.

"When he gets them to the end of the season, he's going to have to regroup, but then you think about the fact there's a European Championships and then the season will start again pretty quickly. His players aren't going to get much of a rest.

"They've to regroup and make sure the damage that is being done at this moment in time in terms of the confidence isn't long-standing. The fact that they won the Premier League title last season and got to a Champions League final and won the year before, also losing it the year before that, it's still the same group of players.

"But what's happening at the moment is bizarre... and it feels like they've lost absolutely everything that they had. Their speed of play, their confidence, the way in which Anfield was such a difficult place to go, the determination, the resilience to win when they weren't playing well - there isn't anything there at the moment."

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Gary Neville believes United will find themselves in a battle for the top four (John Walton/PA)

Gary Neville believes United will find themselves in a battle for the top four (John Walton/PA)

Gary Neville believes United will find themselves in a battle for the top four (John Walton/PA)

Neville went on to suggest Liverpool may struggle to clinch a top four finish, as he suggests Liverpool's players need to remind themselves of their recent success winning the Champions League and Premier League as they look to reboot their season.

"I don't how they get that back other than to get to the end of the season," he added. "They're going to struggle to get into the top four - they still could but they're really going to struggle - because the mood in the dressing room at the moment must be really low. The confidence must be drained out of them and I have no answer. It goes beyond what would be a fourth year dip, this is a real collapse.

"In football, I never think it's as bad as it looks or as good as it looks... Liverpool players will be punishing themselves and you can't do what they've done in the last few years without being great professionals and great players.

"You don't get to two Champions League finals and do what they've done with City, wrestling them right until the end and then winning the title last season, without being a fantastic team.

"They've got a great manager who has done a brilliant job and the owners have got to trust in him to put it right because he's done it for them now for four or five years. Klopp is an unsackable manager for the next five years for what he's done at Liverpool.

"He epitomises what they want, what they are, he's captured the essence of what Liverpool are as a club, he plays football that's outstanding and he's allowed a really bad season, which is happening at the moment by the standards that they've set."

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