Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has called for renewed focus after an emotionally taxing week for the club.
Klopp’s side lit up an already electric Anfield with a heroic comeback to see off Borussia Dortmund 5-4 on aggregate in the Europa League quarter-finals, which coincided with the 27th and final Hillsborough memorial service.
But the Liverpool manager says it is time for the side to get grounded and focus on the rest of their campaign.
“It was really emotional for me. I obviously knew about the tragedy, but this was the first time that I have been really involved in the memorial,” Klopp said.
“It was really special. I cannot say it is my story, but it is the story of the club and of the city of Liverpool.
“To see how close all the people are – and still are after this length of time – well, it was one of the most beautiful stories I know.
“When you hear about the tragedy, you think of the human beings involved but it is not personal to you and so you forget pretty quickly. But the memorial day was really, really special.
“Maybe to say it was ‘beautiful’ is the wrong word, but I was really glad to be a part of it as a visitor.”
Liverpool are unlikely to finish in the top four, trailing fourth-placed Arsenal by 11 points with seven games to play, but could book their spot in next season’s Champions League by winning the Europa League, where they will face Villarreal in the semi-finals.
But first, Klopp is giving Sunday’s Premier League opponents AFC Bournemouth his full attention.
“But now we have to carry on. Now we are facing Bournemouth,” Klopp said.
“It is professional football. It is not about being emotional, it is about having the right line-up.
“Eddie Howe has done a brilliant job this season.
“I admit that I did not know a lot about Bournemouth before I came here but, for me, my colleague is one of the most exciting managers in the league.”