Jurgen Klopp has fired back at his critics, insisting he is well aware of Liverpool’s shortcomings and is working to eradicate them.
The German insists however that he won’t ask his players to foul the opposition in a bid to make Liverpool harder to beat.
Liverpool have won just once in the Premier League this year, having gone down 3-1 to struggling champions Leicester City on Monday in their latest setback.
The Reds face Arsenal at Anfield on Saturday evening and, despite their struggles, victory would move Liverpool above the Gunners and into the top four.
With only one win from seven games in the Premier League, Klopp is not hiding from the fact his team has underachieved of late but he says the critics are misjudging him.
“I am not always laughing like crazy. I am a normal person,” said Klopp. “We have this lack of consistency, we cannot ignore it. I am not a clown – even though a few people think I am.
“It is not about laughing the whole week and ignoring the problems you have.” Liverpool were flying early this season but they have come unstuck badly since the New Year.
Klopp’s teams are noted for playing high octane attacking football and high pressing.
Refuting any suggestion they are a soft touch, Klopp insisted he doesn’t want to ask his players to go beyond the laws of the game. “I think we are usually clean – not ugly challenges – but physical,” he said.
“Sometimes you need tactical fouls but being harder than allowed, I don’t think it makes sense. “I never force my players to make fouls.”
Liverpool are 2.15 to beat Arsenal at Anfield and 2.00 to finish in the top four this season.