Klopp assesses inconsistent Liverpool: 'A lot of things are back but not stable yet'

Liverpool's Champions League collapse against Real Madrid was evidence to Jurgen Klopp his side are "not stable yet", even if back-to-back Premier League victories had hinted at a revival.

Klopp's men beat neighbours Everton and then fellow top-four hopefuls Newcastle United before hosting Madrid in the first leg of a last-16 tie.

But the defensive frailties that had been clear even in a 2-0 win at St James' Park – where Newcastle's 10 men generate more shots, expected goals and touches in the opposition box – came back to bite against Madrid.

After taking an early 2-0 lead, as Liverpool had at Newcastle, they lost 5-2 to all but end their hopes of a seventh European title.

Klopp acknowledged the focus must now shift to Champions League qualification through the league, but he is not ready to write off his team.

"What I saw in this game was a lot of things are back but not stable yet," he said, adding: "We have to work on that stability.

"The good things are really good and will be good forever, but we have to make sure we don't suffer from the few things that aren't working very well."

Consistency will be required if Liverpool are to close the seven-point gap to fourth-placed Tottenham, even with two games in hand.

"We cannot always go like this through a season," Klopp said ahead of playing Crystal Palace on Saturday. "We have to find some consistency in the way we play.

"Emotions are very important, but it cannot all be about emotions. 'Today I feel great, tomorrow not so well', stuff like this.

"We just have to start believing 100 per cent in ourselves again and bring our quality on the pitch."

But Klopp accepted it was to be accepted Liverpool would struggle to rediscover their best level after a difficult run, comparing their form to an accident with his car.

"Everything that happens in life has influence on confidence," Klopp said. "Recently, I scratched my car.

"Since then, I drive around corners like this [carefully]. For 37 years, I had a license, I think, and I never really had an accident, but everything has influence on confidence.

"After a few miles, you realise, 'oh, it was just unlucky', so I can just drive normal again."

One thing that has been consistent in recent seasons is Liverpool's record against Palace.

Following a 1-1 draw at Anfield in the reverse fixture, Palace are looking to avoid defeat in both Premier League meetings with Liverpool for the first time since 2014-15.