Jurgen Klopp has no doubts about Mohamed Salah's quality and believes the forward can play a key role in Liverpool achieving "something special" this season.
Liverpool will head into Saturday's match at Wolves 10th in the Premier League, 10 points behind fourth-placed Manchester United in the battle for Champions League places.
The Reds, who are also out of both domestic cups and face Real Madrid in the Champions League, have not had Salah at his brilliant best this season.
Although Salah is Liverpool's joint-top scorer in the league this season, he has netted only seven times in 19 matches. Across his first five campaigns at Anfield, he tallied 118 top-flight goals.
This comes after a close-season in which Salah signed a lucrative new Liverpool contract as team-mate Sadio Mane was allowed to leave.
But Klopp came to the defence of his star man ahead of the Wolves game, telling reporters: "That attitude and these kind of things are not Mo's problem.
"Mo's a world-class athlete, so he's the first in, last out, trains hard. Now he's not scoring, but there's people out there that think, 'why did they give Klopp a contract?', so that's how it is in our world.
"It's completely fine. If we don't deliver in the moments, if there's criticism, it's no problem.
"You can question character, knowledge, ability, everything. You have the right to do everything, but you cannot score the amount of goals Mo scored if you are not an outstanding, world-class football player."
Working ahead of a trip to Wolves pic.twitter.com/6xKaJoWc37— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 2, 2023
He added: "There are moments when Mo of course would have scored last year. You think that had something to do with the new contract or whatever?
"That's just not right. Things are like they are and the only way we can stop all these questions and discussions is by performing to our top, top level and that's what we have to do and what we will work on.
"We are really on it, and we are still straight, positive, we want to play in the games and we believe in our chances to reach something special even this year.
"It's not great to be not leader of the pack, but we are in a position where we can improve a lot the situation in the table and we have to start tomorrow and continue from there."