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    Friday, 6 March 2020

    Steve McClaren identifies reasons behind Liverpool slump

    Liverpool have lost three of their last four matches in all competitions

    Former England manager Steve McClaren has said Liverpool have displayed signs of 'subconscious complacency' during a run of three defeat in two weeks.

    Following a record breaking start to the season it is only a matter of time before Jurgen Klopp's side are crowned Premier League champions, but hopes of matching Manchester United's 1999 treble winners ended on Tuesday following a 2-0 FA Cup fifth round loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

    The defeat came just three days after Liverpool surrendered their 44 game unbeaten Premier League run when they were hammered 3-0 at relegation threatened Watford, while hopes of progressing in Europe hinge on overturning a 1-0 deficit at Anfield against Atletico Madrid next week.

    And McClaren, who was Sir Alex Ferguson's assistant during the legendary United manager's most successful season, insists Liverpool's current slump should represent a concern to Klopp, with a normally watertight defence looking anything but in recent weeks.

    He told Sky Sports: "The problem with Liverpool is that they've won the league already," said the former United assistant manager.

    "What concerns me is that in the last four games, they've conceded eight goals. To win things, you've got to keep clean sheets and you can’t rely on the front three scoring all the time.

    "What we had after the treble – and I see it a little bit at Liverpool – is complacency, and it's subconscious. You think you’re doing the work, but you’re not.

    "We had a season when we'd won the title by February, March, and we wanted to win the Champions League, but subconsciously, the intensity wasn’t the same.

    "The intensity of the training wasn't the same, and then the intensity of the games wasn’t the same – and we were making mistakes through lack of concentration, focus, tiredness.

    "Liverpool winning the league very early, it might just be affecting them. It certainly has over the last four games."

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