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‘The boys are a top group’ – Liverpool boss Klopp defends players after disappointing West Brom draw

The Reds manager was unhappy with the performance of the game against the Baggies, but he sees no reason to change the perception of his players.

Jurgen Klopp won’t let the frustrating draw with West Brom distort his impression of a Liverpool team which he still considers as “a top group”.

The champions haven’t done everything in their own way this season, but they are once again leading the Premier League as others try to keep in touch.

After dominating the first half at Anfield against West Brom on Sunday, Liverpool’s levels plummeted and they had to settle for a 1-1 draw with their visitors.

Klopp’s side haven’t lost in England’s top flight since the 7-2 loss to Aston Villa on October 4, and they are heading to Newcastle United Wednesday to end the year on a high note.

In their match before the West Brom clash, Liverpool had fought Crystal palace 7-0 at Selhurst Park.

Klopp said: “I want to win more than anything else, but I had to learn so early in life that it doesn’t happen all the time. It’s great.

“I like to win football games, especially when you deserve to win. Deserve to win [against West Brom] I thought we should have done more. We ran a lot, we fought a lot, everything is going well but to do more of the good things. This is what I have told the boys before, I am not mad at them, it can happen.

“The boys are a top group. They were a top group after winning 7-0, they are a top group after drawing West Brom so that doesn’t change.

“Maybe the perspective from the outside has changed, I can imagine it’s like that right away. I’m not a young manager anymore, I can judge these things the right way.

“We are not happy to [the West Brom outcome], it’s the opposite, but now it’s over, we can’t change that anymore, we can just make sure that in the exact situation, the same thing won’t happen again. “

Klopp spoke in awe of Newcastle striker Callum Wilson and said Steve Bruce’s side “have some very good players”, predicting a “tough challenge” on Tyneside.

If Liverpool stumbles again, the likes of Manchester United, Everton, Leicester City and Tottenham will take heart, but the Reds have a strong recent record against Wednesday’s opponents, having won their last five Premier League battles.

Liverpool have never won six straight games against Newcastle in the top flight, and they can note that the Magpies have made a habit of raising their level for home games against the defending champions.

Newcastle have taken eight points in their last four home games against teams in possession of the Premier League trophy, last losing at St James’ Park to such a team when they lost 2-0 at Manchester city in August 2014.

Conversely, Liverpool can claim to have won their last league game in each of the past six calendar years.

Klopp was waiting to see if Thiago Alcantara could push to return to the day’s squad for the trip to Tyneside, having been out since injuring his knee in the 2-2 draw against Everton in mid-October.

“On Friday he coached the whole session, but the session was a reduced session,” Klopp said of the former Bayern Munich Midfielder. “It has to be part of the team’s training. It’s not about having a training day with the team and then you can play Premier League football again. So that looks pretty promising. at the moment but I can’t say more. “

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