Monday, March 8, 2021

Liverpool still have the potential to fight for the title, insists Klopp

SoccerNews in English Premier League 27 Jan 2021

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Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool still have the potential to fight for the Premier League title, though he continues to take a long-term view regarding the reigning champions’ recent form. 

Liverpool are stuck on a five-match winless streak in the league, while hopes of an extended FA Cup run came to an end on Sunday with a 3-2 defeat at rivals Manchester United. 

Klopp saw some positives in the fourth-round tie but is not interested in the idea of the United game acting as a turning point in the campaign, particularly with a trip to top-four rivals Tottenham up next. 

Ahead of Thursday’s game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the Reds boss made clear he wants his team to be “really annoying” to play against as they look to rediscover a winning formula.

“I want it [the Manchester United game] to be the turning point, but the turning point with the result would be nice,” Klopp told the media. “There was a lot of good stuff but, of course, we conceded three goals. This is not what we want. 

“The general situation is a challenge – but a challenge is good. I’m not the person who sits here and thinks my life should be perfect and my team has to win all the football games.  

“If something is going wrong you have to work on it. That’s what we are doing.  

“If I say it’s the turning point and then against Tottenham we don’t play like that, people say we have to start again. We can’t consistently start new, we started already a while ago. 

“We will stay on track, we will do that, be really annoying and fight hard. We will be positive for the positive things and critical of the not-so positive things – that is what we do.  

“I know people expect me to be in a bad mood or whatever, but I’m not. I take the situation like it is and make sure we are ready to go out and fight. We will be ready for one tomorrow night. Where it will lead us? I don’t know. 

“We cannot change the last month. I’m not only a good-weather coach. In all circumstances, you need to have the right answers. The right answer to this is: Respond. Choose some things, keep those that are really good.”

Klopp was asked in his pre-match press conference on Wednesday if the mental approach from his players had changed, considering their success in the previous campaign. 

Liverpool won the title at a canter to end a 30-year wait to be crowned champions again, but while they are off the pace right now, the German coach made clear it is not due to a lack of effort. 

“Of course, things are different,” he said. “Because the results are different people may say it’s worse, but that’s not true. You cannot judge them because of the short-term results.  

“We make all decisions for the long term. We will give our absolute everything this season. It’s not about defending the title, it’s about winning football games. It was always like this. Defending or attacking the title, we have to say that because you ask me. 

“This club and this team has the potential to fight for the title. We will see if we can make that happen, make it closer again this year. If not, we will try next year.  

“We give our absolute everything this season, especially for the next game. With all the difficulties we’ve had, we try really hard all we can. We get judged for that, that’s how it is.  

“I understand 100 per cent people think we don’t try hard enough, but I tell you we will continue to do so.”

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