Their new-found defensive solidity will be given its true test when they face Sevilla tonight in a crunch Champions League clash.

Victory for the Reds will book them a place in the last 16 and Klopp, who claims he is not considering letting Daniel Sturridge leave despite reports claiming he wants to move on in January, feels they are ready after a red-hot run following a wake-up call against Tottenham.

Liverpool were hammered 4-1 by Spurs last month but since then conceded just once in four games and scored 13 – including four at West Ham.

They have also beaten Maribor, Huddersfield and Southampton by three without conceding and Klopp has revealed how he has abandoned his all-out attacking approach.

He said: “I spoke about it after the West Ham game – we wanted to have a more defensive approach. This is true.

“It was not too different to a lot of the things we did in the last few games before that. We changed a lot, other people just didn’t realise.

“There were a lot of things we changed to make us more stable. For the West Ham game, in that week, with the knowledge of West Ham and what they had to do in a home game, we decided to sit back more. We never hesitate to do different things, it is only that we need time for it.

“It was possible to play like this against West Ham because it is quite a simple thing to do. It was about making clear how we defend and, if they give us the ball, run.”

Klopp has always argued there has been nothing wrong with his defence even in the aftermath of heavy defeats, but his recent shift shows it was a concern.

“It has always been defence first and then attack and the manager has always tried to tell us that but maybe in recent games he has put a little bit more emphasis on that,” said defender Ragnar Klavan.

But they face a step up in class against Sevilla tonight at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium with a last-16 spot at stake after a draw at Anfield earlier in the season.

Klopp said: “Why should I say it’s true test and then if we fail, what then? This is a tough place to come

“What we did in the last month result-wise has given us confidence coming here but that does not mean we win it. So far was preparation.”

Klopp also believes Liverpool have “no chance” if they do not continue to show their recent maturity against the side who beat them in the 2016 Europa League final.

Sturridge will not get what would be just his fifth start to the season and Klopp understands if the striker is unhappy as he bids to rescue his dream of going to the World Cup with England.

But Klopp believes the 28-year-old is needed and refuses to consider the forward leaving in January.

“It’s a story,” said Klopp. “But actually I’m not really interested in stories. The situation with the player is completely OK.

“I can imagine a player with his quality is not happy that he is not starting all the time. I really can imagine that. But that’s all.

“At this moment we need all our players. We have November, even if he feels a little different. There is around one-and-a-half months before the window opens and I don’t think about things like this.

“There are so many games before then and I need all of them.”


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