Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp joked that he trusts his players enough to let them take care of his kids after the runaway leaders went 19 points clear at the top of the Premier League table following Wednesday's 2-0 win at West Ham.
The Reds were not at their best at the London Stadium despite having over 70 per cent possession but found a way through their stubborn hosts through a Mohamed Salah penalty and a second-half goal from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Klopp, however, insists that his side are not suffering from a lack of motivation due to being so far out in front in the English top tier but rather individual errors stemming from a lack of concentration as his European champions are “in charge” so often.
“These boys, I'd give them my kids to take care of them,” the German told Sky Sports. “I trust them 100 per cent but in these situations they still make these ridiculous mistakes. It's nothing to do with motivation. It's just staying concentrated when you are constantly in charge that's so difficult.
“It's not a motivational problem for us. The difficulty was to get the rhythm, keep rhythm and to stay concentrated. I think their biggest chances we gave them.”
The hosts' five-man back line did Liverpool no favours either, with David Moyes' relegation-battling Hammers having sat back for much of the contest. Regardless, Klopp was happy enough with the result – even if it was not a “super game” from his team's perspective.
“It was not a brilliant performance, against a side obviously that's insecure at the moment, but it makes it really difficult for us,” he said.
“A very important element in football is counter the counter, but for that the other team need to have counters and winning the ball back and using the space. We started pretty much each attack with a ball from a centre half against nine or 10 or 11.
“I wish we would have done better but I take it like it is because if it would be easy to win this amount of games and have this number of points, so many other teams would have done it.
“We played a super game against United, Leicester - super game. Today was a game. We still had to win it and we did.”
Liverpool return to Premier League action with a home clash against Southampton on Saturday.