Jurgen Klopp says he will not leave Liverpool unless he is told to go, hinting at a major overhaul of his ageing squad at the end of the season.
A sixth Premier League defeat of the campaign at the weekend means the 2020 champions are 10 points outside the top four with just over half the season remaining.
Klopp last year signed a contract extension until 2026 and the 55-year-old stressed only the sack would prevent him seeing that through.
“Either the manager’s position changes or a lot of other things change,” he said. “So as far as I am concerned unless someone tells me I will not go.
“So that means maybe there is a point where we have to change other stuff. We will see that, but that is something for the future. Like summer or whatever. Not now.
“I have space and time to think about it – we have to play better football now.”
Captain Jordan Henderson (32), Fabinho (29) and 31-year-old Thiago Alcantara remain first-choice picks in a midfield that is showing its age but Klopp denied he was being too loyal to the old guard.
“The problem is too complex. You have a good player who did a lot of good things in the past and then in your mind (you think) maybe that’s it for him,” said the Liverpool boss, speaking of the need for rejuvenation.
“If you can then go out and bring in another player to replace (him) that makes sense. If you cannot bring anybody in you cannot bring anybody out. That is the situation.”
Klopp, whose team face Wolves in an FA Cup third-round replay on Tuesday, also rejected the suggestion that longer-serving players had stopped listening to him.
“I was not that often in a similar situation but I know exactly how it works when things don’t go well,” he said.
“There is a list of things you go through and one of the things is the players aren’t listening to the coach anymore.
“In Germany we say the manager doesn’t reach the team anymore. So I understand it looks like this sometimes but it is just not the case. You can take that off the list.”