HUDDERSFIELD Town’s head coach David Wagner believes the defensive problems dogging Liverpool are being caused solely by “individual mistakes” rather than any failings on the part of his counterpart Jurgen Klopp.
Last weekend’s 4-1 defeat at Wembley against Tottenham Hotspur represented a new low for a backline that has already been breached 16 times in nine league outings this term.
Dejan Lovren’s performance was so poor he was substituted shortly after the half-hour mark and Klopp has faced plenty of flak from supporters over his side’s continuing problems at the back.
But Wagner said: “From my point of view, these are not defensive problems that they have technical-wise as a group or as a team. It is more the individual mistakes different players have made. Maybe this is unusual for a club like Liverpool, like it was unusual for a club like Manchester United. If you look at the two goals they conceded against us, these were very big individual mistakes and avoidable individual mistakes. They were the sort that Manchester United or Liverpool players do not usually make, or maybe only one time in 20 games.
“So their problems, from a distance, look more like individual mistakes. As a manager, they are very difficult to work on, because you can change the personnel, you can work on training every single day on the first touch and the passing, but if someone makes such a poor first touch, this is nothing that you really can correct. It is only about concentration and focusing on making the right decision.”
As for his own defence, and Christopher Schindler, in particular, Wagner added: “He has played extraordinary so far. He is reliable and consistent at a high level. We are happy we have him here. Even he isn’t at the maximum. He gives himself no limits.”