Ahead of Sunday’s season opener away to Arsenal, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has told his players there should be no limits on their title hopes.
Citing Leicester City’s march to the Premier League title last season, Klopp believes Liverpool have no reason to play down their aspirations.
“Leicester is a good example. They weren’t too confident at the start of the season – but then they became more confident with the results they were having,” he said.
“I remember last season, after we had beaten them 1-0 at home, we were in the manager’s bar or office. I said to Claudio, ‘Why shouldn’t Leicester be champions?’
“He said, ‘Stop talking, there’s no chance’. But, four weeks later, they believed. And that’s how it is.”
After making signings compatible to his system in the likes of Sadio Mane, Marko Grujic and Joel Matip, Klopp does not see why his side cannot make a legitimate claim for the title.
“Look, why should I limit our expectations? I am sure at this moment, as sure as I can be, that we will be successful – but what does it mean in the end? That is the question,” he said.
“I am pretty sure, at the moment, 19 other teams think they can be successful, so I don’t want to set a limit. I want the players to open their minds and go for everything. We will fight for everything.
“We did the business we thought we needed. The players will not be an excuse for me, the moment they sign, we share responsibility. They are responsible for their performance, I am responsible too. It’s 50-50, so let’s just try and do the best.
“We had a really, really good transfer window. We could do the things we wanted to do quite early, which makes absolute sense because then you have the boys in training.”
Although Klopp does not enjoy the prospect of no European football this season, he does admit it could work in their favour in terms of extra preparation.
“We need to be in Europe. There is nothing positive about not being involved in Europe. Absolutely nothing,” he said.
“But if you do the right things at the right moment and you are perfectly prepared, you can use the situation when you need to have fresher legs than the other team.”