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Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp: It sounds like we're the worst team in the league

Sadio Mane says it's too early to rule Liverpool out of the Premier League title race.
Steve Nicol breaks down where his former club Liverpool are going wrong with their defensive issues under Jurgen Klopp.
Liverpool's Sadio Mane insists the side are working to have the most threatening attacking force in the Premier League.

LIVERPOOL -- Jurgen Klopp says the reaction to Liverpool's recent struggles have been overblown, suggesting there is a perception his side are "the worst team in the league."

Liverpool are currently winless in their last four matches after they were knocked out in the third round of the Carabao Cup by Leicester City on Tuesday night.

Klopp insists his players do have the character to help the side return to winning ways ahead of their return to Leicester on Saturday evening in the Premier League.

"We've proved it already 100 times," Klopp told a news conference. "It sounds like we have nil points and we are the worst team in the league.

"Yes, we have problems -- that's why we only have eight points and not 15. That's the situation. We can make it more serious than it is, or take it like it is.

"Yes, we still have work to do and it would be the same if we had 15 points -- it would only feel different.

"Yes, we have the right characters. Yes, sometimes we react really well, sometimes we don't react perfectly and we can improve in each part of our game.

"Character is nothing fixed, it's not to say: 'You cannot improve in this,' 'You cannot change your mentality' -- of course you can.

"You only have to get used to it and if we take the right information of the things we've done so far, it always helps."

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool have endured a recent spell of poor form.

Following the 2-0 defeat to Leicester in midweek, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was singled out by many for criticism in his first start for Liverpool after the summer transfer from Arsenal.

Klopp admits he is not surprised by the rush to jump to conclusions in the footballing world, but is confident the £40 million signing will deliver for the Reds.

"That's the world, hey? That's the world of football," he said. "It's quite quick with all that stuff. I'm not aware of it, but I can imagine.

"Ox had really, really good situations and then a few unlucky situations. I thought he did really good in the moments you could see he tried to adapt to the style of play and all that stuff.

"He had a little problem with a calf -- it's not an injury, but a problem -- and we all need to get used to this and manage it a little better.

"It's the first game from the start and nothing else. After a game you've lost and he didn't make the best game in his life then people probably ask 'Where's the impact he can make?' but I'm not in doubt about this."

Meanwhile, Klopp could be without his first-choice centre-backs Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren for the return to the King Power Stadium, with Emre Can also facing a battle to be fit for the weekend.

Lovren has missed the last two matches with a back injury, while Matip and Can picked up knocks against Burnley last weekend.

Klopp said: "It's nothing major with Dejan but it was enough to keep him out of two games and he is not in training so far, so that means he is also a doubt for the weekend, which is not too cool.

"It's the same with -- but completely different [injuries] -- Joel Matip and Emre Can. They have little bits from the last game so we have to see if they can be back in training today or tomorrow, but it's not sure at the moment.

"We will see. Ragnar [Klavan] will play the third game in the row if he plays again, Joe [Gomez] made the [Leicester] game in the centre-half position. We have to see then how we can manage if it would be like this.

"Stuff like this is a normal day for a football manager. We have to see what we can do.

"Until it's not verified exactly, I have to wait and we have to train with the boys. They can train today and then we prepare the game. We will see on Saturday -- there's two days to go -- which players will be available. It's a normal challenge.

"It's not that it's worse or better than other situations. Players can get ill overnight and then you have to make another plan. That's why we prepare pretty much everything until we know who we can use."

Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.

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