Jurgen Klopp has refused to blame Liverpool’s recent dip in form on his rotation policy but admits his side did not deserve to beat West Brom in midweek.
The Reds slipped further behind Premier League leaders Manchester City on Wednesday after being held to a goalless draw by the Baggies, just three days after a frustrating 1-1 draw with Everton.
Klopp has made a dozen changes to his starting line-up over the course of the last week but the German insists his rotation policy is not to blame for recent results.
“We had two draws at home. Criticism is completely normal but I thought they were two completely different games,” said Klopp.
“The Everton game was a really good game, we played really well – one of the best derbies since I arrived – but with the wrong result in the end. We were unlucky.
“But to be honest against West Brom we didn’t deserve any luck. It was not a good performance, it was not as good as we could have played.
“The timing was off, it was not fluid enough, the passing not at its best. That’s it. It was not a good game but we haven’t had a lot of bad games in the last few weeks.
“I don’t think it had anything to do with rotation.”
Liverpool visit Bournemouth on Sunday, and Klopp is expecting a tough test against the Cherries, who suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat to Manchester United on Wednesday.
“Bournemouth playing at United, I couldn’t see the biggest difference between that game and our game with West Brom,” said Klopp.
“But United won it, or Bournemouth lost it, but they produced a proper performance. They have a clear structure, 4-4-2 and are a good football playing team. I have a lot of respect for what they are doing there.
“I saw a few games this season where they didn’t get the points they deserved. It will be a tough game for sure.”
Klopp confirmed that Simon Mignolet will return to the starting line-up against the Cherries but ruled both Joel Matip and Nathaniel Clyne out of the match.
“Joel Matip is in a good way, running outside but is not available at the weekend. The same for Clyne,” said Klopp.
“Daniel (Sturridge) – we have to wait to see if he’s improved. Adam (Lallana) is back in full and normal training – if nothing changes he will be ready for the squad at least.”