Jurgen Klopp says he does not feel the need to apologise to Antonio Conte but clarified his criticism of Tottenham after Saturday’s 1-1 draw.
After being held to a well-drilled Spurs lineup who were content to play on the counter-attack at Anfield, Klopp was critical of their approach, saying it was not something he would ever try to replicate.
“I think they are world class and I think they should do more for the game,” Klopp said on Saturday before admitting in his Monday press conference that those comments were made in the heat of the moment after dropping vital points in the title race.
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The Reds boss says he did not feel the need to speak directly to Conte but detailed his admiration for the job the Italian has done in north London.
“No,” Klopp said about contacting Conte directly. “It is what I think, it’s just not what I should say because that is not appropriate. We didn’t lose but I felt in a moment like losing, it was all fine then all of a sudden, one guy said it was great how Tottenham defended and one moment it clicked and [I said] no.
“But I mean it like I say I couldn’t coach it so that is a compliment. What they do is incredible. It is so difficult for the opponent to score, which is one part of the job we have to do, to make it really difficult for the opponent to score.
“The moment they don’t score, in that moment Harry Kane gets on the ball and it is not a brain fog and then what can you do in those moments?
“I couldn’t coach that and if Antonio hears that he may think about it and Diego Simeone, I mentioned Atletico Madrid and great, I can’t wait until we face them in the Champions League again, but it was out before I start thinking again.”
Asked what went wrong against Spurs on Saturday, Klopp added: “The main problem is you are constantly in a creating mood, knowing each missed pass is a massive problem. It is very difficult to stay calm.
“I spoke about a few moments, I am not sure if they were crosses, but if you chip the ball from the half left to Hendo (Jordan Henderson), that is great football but that is the moment we didn’t anticipate enough.
“If we win 3-1 you would not have counted the amount of crosses. It was not a perfect game but the general approach, the counter-press was completely at a different level. We win it and we talk about that. Winning 1 -0 and five games to go, plus two finals, then something happens beforehand.
“That is how I saw it, so we keep going with the quality of the opponent and the goalkeeper and you know we had the situations. If Virgil (van Dijk) gets the header here instead of here it is a better chance than hitting the bar. Use the good things, delete the bad things.”