Jurgen Klopp has dismissed his poor record in finals as he attempts to win his first trophy in charge of Liverpool on Wednesday.
Klopp’s men take on two-time defending champions Sevilla in the Europa League final in Basle with the German looking to claim his first piece of major silverware since the 2012 DFB-Pokal, when Borussia Dortmund trounced Bayern Munich 5-2.
Since that night in Berlin, Klopp led Dortmund to three more title-games – the 2013 Champions League final and the DFB-Pokal final in 2013 and 2015 – without success. He also guided Liverpool to the 2016 League Cup final at Wembley where they were beaten on penalties by Manchester City.
Despite that modest record, the 48-year-old is adamant it is not a major concern heading into the clash at St-Jakob Park.
He told reporters at Tuesday’s news conference: “There is no frustration. Before a final I think only about a performance. All you can do is win or lose!
“All the teams I have had in finals performed really well and had close games, so I am not frustrated with my final record.
“Sure, I could have won more, but that is how it is. When it’s over it’s over. I was not happy after finals when I didn’t win, but I don’t think about it now. I have silver medals, but that’s better than no medals. The longer you go without winning, the harder you try.”
Klopp says Liverpool’s appearance in the final reinforces his confidence in the players at the club.
“I came here because I was really convinced of the quality of these players,” he added. “At the start I was the only person, but now a few more people know. To see how they deserve this final makes me feel really good. I am not sure what will happen tomorrow, but even the experience is important.”
Despite it being a final, Klopp insists Liverpool’s preparation will not change.
When asked if he had anything special planned, he replied: “As normal as possible. The special circumstances are obvious – we have to do more press, for the last two or three weeks everybody wants to ask about this game, tickets etc.
“The rest needs to be as usual as possible, otherwise our preparation for other games would have been wrong.
“We had pressure against Villarreal, Dortmund, and these boys always did a perfect job, so why should I change? If I change, they think ‘maybe he thinks they are not ready’ and I am sure they are ready.
“That’s the situation. We feel good. I am pleased that I can be part of this moment, with this team. When I came here there was doubt about these players, and I am happy that they could show how strong they are. Tomorrow is a big chance to take a big step.”
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