Jurgen Klopp admits Liverpool are still not the finished product after a week of setbacks provided some measure of reality.
After last weekend’s draw with newcomers Luton, a much-changed side suffered their first Europa League defeat at the hands of Toulouse in midweek.
Liverpool have failed to win just five of their 17 matches this season and have a 100 per cent record in eight matches at Anfield in all competitions, but Klopp knows they need to avoid unnecessary setbacks like those in the last few days.
“Things are going in the right direction, but we are not there yet. We are not as stable as we would like, but that is also normal,” he said.
“Overall we are in a positive situation and it is important to learn how to deal with it. There was a lot of praise.
“It feels like (Toulouse) and Luton is a real learning curve. I wish this wasn’t necessary, to be honest. I wish we could learn this quickly.
“We can be a really good team. We showed it. We cannot allow what happened (in Toulouse): we were not aggressive enough. It was that simple.
“We may lose the game, but we have to use it to learn the right things. To win a football game you have to be aggressive.”
Liverpool’s brand new midfield has impressed since it was only put together in pre-season, but the pressure on the likes of Dominik Szoboszlai, Alexis Mac Allister and Ryan Gravenberch has intensified of late.
Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic have been absent for long periods of time, but with Curtis Jones out before the end of the international break, Gravenberch’s chance at Brentford hanging in the balance with a knee injury and Mac Allister’s suspension on Sunday, resources look stretched thin.
And this does not take into account the absence of main left-back Andy Robertson until the new year after shoulder surgery.
When the Premier League campaign resumes after the international break, Liverpool will play 11 matches in 38 days – starting with Manchester City and including two European matches that would have been scrapped had they won in the south of France.
“Now it’s just important that we get through this period until the international break and then after that with as few injuries as possible because the games will be thick and fast,” Klopp added.
“It’s crazy how much we have to play and we need them all (the team). You will see them all.”
Liverpool have had difficulties with Brentford before, most notably in January when they lost 3-1 away, and even with striker Ivan Toney serving a lengthy ban, Klopp is wary of the threat they present.
Jurgen Klopp described the “always interesting” challenge of facing Brentford as he predicted Sunday’s clash at Anfield. #LIVBRE
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 10, 2023
“Sometimes I remember bad things, but in this particular case, no. I’m sure it wasn’t good,” the Reds manager said of the game.
“It’s very difficult to play against Thomas Frank and Brentford for different reasons. I’m not sure they’re 100 percent happy with the season, but losing Ivan Toney and the player he was for them is really cruel.
“But they are mid-table and that is probably what Brentford want to survive in this situation and, when he comes back, use him again.”
“They are well organised, have excellent set-piece execution, have really forward players and very quick counter-attacks.
“It’s always interesting and challenging. But this is Anfield and we have to use it.”