Jurgen Klopp has named the two positions that are “really, really difficult to play” at Liverpool.
Klopp leads his Liverpool players into the Champions League final on Saturday, where they hope to finally topple Real Madrid.
They will do so with a side many feel is still littered with weaknesses in defence.
Klopp believes that some of those who still face criticism are “unfairly treated”, including “world class” Dejan Lovren.
“Sometimes players get unfairly treated,” he told the Daily Mirror. “Two positions that are really, really difficult to play for Liverpool: goalkeeper and centre half.
“It’s like you can never been good enough, whatever you do, they still say ‘we need a world class replacement’.”
Klopp then recalled the 4-1 defeat to Tottenham in October, when Lovren was substituted after half an hour.
“The Tottenham game I was angry. It wasn’t that I was saying, ‘boys, never mind it can happen, forget about it’. Not even one per cent of that. I was really angry.
“I took Dejan off after 25 minutes and I didn’t speak to him afterwards. But then a few days later I saw him waiting for my talk, so I said, come in. ‘You took me off after 20 minutes’. Because you were bad.
“But I said to him – maybe this was the decisive moment when he got it – I think he’s a world class centre half, 100 per cent. Yes with weakness, concentration can happen from time to time, could be harder here, whatever. But he is a world class centre half, otherwise he would not be here any more.
“Kolo Toure left, Martin Skrtel left, Mama Sakho left, a lot of centre halves we had all left. He’s still here, I am not blind and I am not silly. Especially because the whole crowd would be happy if we do it – it would be easy. But I am completely convinced about him. That is all there is to it.
“So he hears I think he’s a world class centre half, and that maybe helped him, I don’t know. But it’s really the thing that players need help in these moments, and they need a clear opinion.
“They respect me, so if I think they are good, then they start thinking themselves they are good. And Dejan Lovren is 100 per cent a world class player.”