Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has cursed his side's inconsistency after their impressive victory over Arsenal but does not think his players have any motivational issues against the lesser sides in the Premier League.
Liverpool overpowered the Gunners on Saturday evening (4 March) and have a quite excellent record against the teams around them this season, but it is in the games against teams lower down the league where they have slipped up and seen their chances of a title – and silverware in general – evaporate completely.
Klopp has voiced his frustrations over Liverpool's incapability to pick up results against the likes of Leicester City, Burnley et al and suggested that the reason for their inconsistency is "sometimes quality" within the squad.
"I don't want to make it too philosophical, it is obviously the case we are inconsistent," the Liverpool boss told The Liverpool Echo. "I know we don't have to doubt their attitude in the way we usually think about it – 'do they really want it? Are they really motivated?' We cannot play as we did (against Arsenal) if we have any issues like this.
"But we struggled in other games. So, ok, you say it is about quality, and, yeah, probably sometimes it is quality. But we have potential and you make quality of it, with work and all that stuff.
"If we judge the players after the best game of the season, then we sign a contract for another six seasons, if we do it after Leicester then you change the whole squad. But the truth is always in between.
Liverpool's next game in the Premier League is at home to Burnley, who inflicted a 2-0 loss on Klopp's men earlier in the season. Klopp admitted that Liverpool's legs "feel already very heavy" ahead of the clash with the Clarets and is aware that he has to "produce the right mood" in his camp.
"There will be moments when we play like this and win again – and it is what we did this season already in fact – and it will be against a team not in the top six. But we have to work on it, first of all we have to feel like it is possible." Klopp added.
"The whole week is different. When the week starts after Leicester everybody was angry, then we produce this performance against Arsenal. But then the question is immediately about Burnley and it starts already 'oh f** k, how can we do this'. The legs feel already very heavy for the next game.
"My job is to produce the right mood, and I feel especially responsible after not so good performances – we work on it."