Jurgen Klopp wants his Liverpool players to forget about the Champions League final and focus on securing a top-four finish in the Premier League.
Liverpool host Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday in the final round of fixtures knowing a win will guarantee them a place in Europe’s premier club competition next season.
Even a point at Anfield should be enough for Klopp’s side, as they possess a far superior goal difference in comparison to nearest rivals Chelsea, who sit two points behind ahead of their trip to Newcastle United.
Yet the German acknowledges “there is still a job to do” in Liverpool’s last home fixture before they can then concentrate on the prospect of playing Real Madrid on May 26.
“As long as we are not 100 per cent in the Champions League, this last game is the most important of the season,” he told Sky Sports.
“I’ve said it a few times, all the things we’ve done so far have built a basis, we have to use the basis. The basis is obviously good because if we win against Brighton we are basically in the Champions League.
“That’s good, but there is still a job to do. I have no problem with that. That wasn’t only because of the Chelsea game, it was all the other games; Tottenham and Everton at home when we dropped points.
“That’s the situation of the game but it’s no problem to play the game, we have to play it anyway so now we have to win it, that’s it.”
#OnThisDay in 1986…
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 10, 2018
Even if Liverpool suffer a last-day disaster and wind up in fifth place, they can still gain access to the Champions League with victory over holders Madrid in Kiev.
Klopp, however, is not interested in leaving it until the last opportunity to seal qualification.
“Of course, that would be cool,” he replied when asked about clinching a Champions League berth via the Premier League.
“But nobody thinks about the Champions League final, how it will be, ifs and if-nots at the moment.
“It’s the Brighton game [next] and they deserve [all] the focus we can have. They have played an outstanding season, Chris [Hughton] has done an amazing job.”
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