Critics have been lining up to take shots at Liverpool’s fallible defence but centre-back Joel Matip said it was only a verbal volley from manager Jurgen Klopp which registered with the players.
The knives were out after last week’s woeful 4-1 defeat at Tottenham and the Reds boss felt the need to deliver a few home truths in the lead-up to what turned out to be a comfortable 3-0 win over Huddersfield.
Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and centre-back Dejan Lovren, withdrawn after half an hour at Wembley and injured in the warm-up against the Terriers, came in for most scrutiny but Matip said collectively all the players had to look at their performance after Klopp’s harsh words.
“Against Tottenham me and the rest of the team made mistakes and we got criticised. This is what it means to be at a big club, to be a professional footballer,” he said.
“A lot of people are looking, they are waiting, and if we don’t perform we expect them to do this.
“Of course it is tough. Are the criticisms always deserved? I don’t know, maybe.
“We know we had a lot of problems. I made a lot of problems, I was at fault, I made a number of mistakes, and of course I am not happy.
“We know we did it wrong and he (Klopp) didn’t hold back, he said it directly.
“You have to speak about these things directly, honestly, and that is what he did.
“He said it was not good enough – he spoke very honestly about the things that have to change, very directly, but after this he said we carry on and try to prepare for the next game.”