'I don't need a break': Klopp defiant amid Liverpool slump

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Liverpool's manager Jurgen Klopp watches his players during warm up prior to the English Premier League soccer match between Leicester City and Liverpool at the King Power Stadium in Leicester, England, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. (Carl Recine/Pool Photo via AP)

LIVERPOOL – In his most challenging period as Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp put on a show of defiance Monday in outlining how he plans to turn his side's stuttering season around.

Klopp struck a downbeat tone following the 3-1 loss at Leicester on Saturday, conceding his team would not be retaining the Premier League after falling 13 points behind first-place Manchester City.

Liverpool is on a run of only two wins in 10 matches and has lost three straight league games for the first time since Klopp arrived in 2015.

It has also been a difficult time for the German coach personally with his mother, Elisabeth, dying last month at the age of 81 after contracting COVID-19. He was unable to attend the funeral in his native country because of travel restrictions.

Liverpool fans hung a banner on the gates outside Anfield on Sunday, with the message: “Jurgen Klopp YNWA” — shorthand for the club's motto, “You'll Never Walk Alone.”

He said he appreciated the gesture but was not in need of any “special support.”

“I don’t need a break,” Klopp said, dismissing speculation he was contemplating quitting Liverpool.

“I can split things, I can switch off, one thing and the other thing, I don’t carry things around,” he added. “Of course we are influenced by things that happen around but nobody has to worry about me or whatever. I might not look (fine) because the weather is not cool, the beard gets more and more grey, I don’t sleep a lot, my eyes look like this, but I am full of energy.”