Jurgen Klopp gives reason for Liverpool's defensive problems in pre-season

Jurgen Klopp has suggested a lack of 'awareness' has been to blame for Liverpool's defensive sloppiness in pre-season.

The Reds have played four friendlies so far, winning two, drawing one and losing the other. However, across the four fixtures the Reds have conceded ten goals – shipping four against Bayern Munich in Singapore on Wednesday.

Defensive issues were concern for Liverpool last season, as Klopp's side conceded 47 goals in 38 Premier League games – the second-highest of any top six team.

Before the Bayern game, Klopp admitted the Reds need to up their defensive performance in 2023/24, saying: "I’ve tried to make really clear our defending has to be at a completely different level to last season. We had better do that or we will have real problems."

Bayern became the second team to put four past Liverpool in pre-season, following a 4-4 draw with Greuther Furth, with the German champions mounting a late comeback, after being 3-2 down with ten minutes to play.

READ MORE: Liverpool 3-4 Bayern Munich – Player Ratings

After the match, Klopp suggested that a lack of awareness linked to tiredness was to blame for the late collapse.

He said, via Liverpoolfc.com: "The first goal we concede, Trent [Alexander-Arnold] and Joel [Matip] have to react better. This pass, I don’t think it is [able] to avoid, to be 100% honest. We cannot always be there and block all balls, sometimes balls will fly towards our last line. It was just a little doubt in between, but both stand on both feet – I am not sure exactly when it was, 30 minutes when they scored the first goal? – so we felt the intensity properly then, like humans are.

"I think it was a similar time [in the] second half, between Joey [Gomez] and Ibou [Konate]. It’s nothing about speed or whatever, it is just about awareness – check the situation. In football there are no breaks. When you are really tired, that’s the thing you hate the most: there are no breaks.

"Apart from that, how I said, I saw a lot of good individual performances, I think really encouraging, really positive, and we can work with that, that’s it."

Liverpool remain in the market for defensive reinforcements before the transfer window closes at the end of the month, with at least one 'number six' and a left-sided centre back on the wish list.

The Premier League season kicks off on 13 August, with a trip to Chelsea.

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