Jurgen Klopp has offered his support to Mauricio Pochettino after the Tottenham boss said qualifying for the Champions League is more important than success in domestic cup competitions.
After Spurs were knocked out of both the EFL and FA Cup in the space of four days, Pochettino declared winning trophies “only builds your ego” and that his main focus was always a top-four finish in the Premier League.
While his comments were criticised in some quarters, Klopp understands “100 per cent” where his counterpart was coming from after the 2-0 FA Cup loss to Crystal Palace.
The Liverpool manager pointed out how participating in Europe’s top-tier club competition is pivotal because of the revenue it brings in, even if supporters may see a greater value in winning silverware.
Like Pochettino at Spurs, the German is yet to secure a trophy with the Reds – missing out in last year’s Champions League final following defeat to Real Madrid – but has managed consecutive fourth-place finishes in the Premier League in the last two seasons.
“I don’t know exactly how much we need money for improving a football team,” Klopp told the media on Tuesday. “We cannot change that, it’s not the only way but a big thing. Especially if a team is developing well, then the players will not be cheap after that. That’s the truth.
“I know people didn’t like what Pochettino said in these moments but from a club point of view, the best competition to win is the Premier League because then you are in the top four and you have won a big thing as well.
“With all the other cup competitions you want to win them as well, of course, but they don’t guarantee you the money for the next year. So that’s why top four is so important.
“You should ask the owners much more about that but they would say, ‘yes, it’s really important’.
“I know for supporters it’s different, they want to have silverware, but if you win silverware one year then the next year you’re eighth in the table then nobody likes that, and nobody talks about the silverware from last year so they don’t give you any time to try it again.
“So that’s the situation, I understand 100 per cent what Pochettino said but in a club like Liverpool we always have to go for everything. The best thing that we did, everyone can see that we are around the decisive things again.
“For a couple of years it was not like this but again it’s like this now but at the end it’s really, really important you are in the Champions League next year as well.”
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