Phil Thompson believes Liverpool’s worrying recent results was caused by players losing focus after “believing the hype” from their impressive victory over Manchester City.
The Reds ended the runaway league leaders’ unbeaten record with a thrilling 4-3 victory but have followed it up with a 1-0 loss at Swansea before being dumped out of the FA Cup with a 3-2 defeat to West Brom.
Soccer Saturday’s Thommo fears there are similarities to last season’s slump, again after beating Pep Guardiola’s side, when they won just one in 10 in all competitions, all but ending their title chances and failing to reach the EFL Cup final.
The Anfield legend insists it is vital the team regain their focus to bounce back at Huddersfield on Tuesday night.
He told Sky Sports: “I think too many of the players believed the hype after the City game and it is amazing that the wheels came off after beating Manchester City on New Year’s Eve.
“The most worrying aspect is how we lost our way for the whole of January. Losing one game is a blip, but two games becomes a bit worrying, so everybody has to take responsibility to get out of it and ensure there is no repeat of how everything unravelled last year.
“What it takes to win leagues is focus, concentration and motivation. This is a massive game for Liverpool because if you get into a third defeat then questions start getting asked about the players, managers, backroom staff, so they have to turn around quicker.”
Thommo is also concerned by the familiarity of his former side’s stumbling blocks, with Swansea and West Brom currently populating the bottom two positions in the Premier League table.
“It was identical how the teams defended so deep and narrow, forcing Liverpool to play the ball wide, while stopping the counter-attack by making little professional fouls,” he added.
“You can see their coaching of getting back behind the ball as soon as they lost the ball and that is what Klopp’s side have had to cope with. They’ve got to react and adapt.
“It’s something Liverpool have struggled with during recent years and they are going to have to really focus against Huddersfield.”