Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool must avoid staying in “that moment” of their Champions League triumph if they are to challenge on all fronts this season.
Liverpool take on Premier League champions Manchester City in the Community Shield on Sunday, 64 days after beating Tottenham to claim their sixth European Cup.
Klopp does not fear any complacency from his players heading into the new campaign, but believes his side must put their success behind them in order to focus on achieving even more in 2019-20.
“The players aren’t the problem. How would they change in four or five weeks?” Klopp told a news conference.
“The new situation is that it was a big achievement for the club, a big achievement for each individual. They had a completely different summer.
“Everybody is talking to you about it. If you win something then everybody feels the need to tell you first of all congratulations, then where they watched, how they felt, how their family felt, how their friends felt, how their dog felt.
“It’s all nice but of course it keeps you in that moment. I want to be completely focused on the new season from a specific point. That’s the one thing.
“When we said we have to get rid of the backpack of the history of the club so we can make a step in the right direction, we have to make sure our own history – even though it’s a very good one – doesn’t keep us in that moment.
“That’s very important. We will do that, but we have to learn it. Nobody gives you a book that you can read about how to deal with a Champions League win.”
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 2, 2019
Liverpool ran City close in the league last season, but Pep Guardiola’s side retained their title, edging out the Reds by one point.
While City have lost inspirational captain Vincent Kompany, they have brought in club-record signing Rodri and full-back Angelino, with Guardiola hinting on Friday that there were more additions to come before the window shuts.
Klopp’s side have been quiet, however, making just two signings – youngsters Sepp van den Berg and Harvey Elliott joining from PEC Zwolle and Fulham respectively.
And Klopp insists City are the favourites to triumph in the Premier League this coming season.
“Because they’ve won the league twice in a row. That’s one reason,” he said. “Ours was the first year on that level. We have to prove we can be on that level again. That’s how it is.
“The 97 points were no coincidence but it’s not like we outplayed all the teams, like we shot them out of the stadium constantly. We needed tied games, close games a lot. We were a real result machine last year, it was really, really impressive.
“The champions are favourites. They didn’t lose a player – they have lost Kompany, sorry, and brought in another one. I knew they would do something [in the transfer market].
“If somebody asks if we’re favourites in the Champions League we probably couldn’t deny it. We don’t think it’s like this, but then we are in the final twice in a row so obviously we know the way to the final. Does that mean we will be in the final again? It doesn’t mean it, but it’s possible.”
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