Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Jurgen Klopp plays down the hype as Liverpool head to Old Trafford

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists their trip to face arch-rivals Manchester United does not take on any extra significance just because both teams are back battling at the top end of the table.

The Reds went into the weekend in second place while United's six successive Premier League victories - as part of a nine-match winning run - have taken Jose Mourinho's side to within five points of their bitter north-west rivals.

October's meeting was a dour goalless draw as United were still getting to grips with Mourinho's tactics after his summer appointment, but even though the stakes appear higher at Old Trafford on Sunday Klopp said that is not the case.

"It is not about making it bigger than it actually is," he said.

"You can be 10th and they can be first, or they are 15th and we are first - it makes no difference to the game.

"It is very important we know about this. It is a special game and we are aware of it.

"The players know more about the fixture, most are experienced enough.

"If we can win there it would be nice but there are a lot of games to play and a lot of points which you should get and these are only three of them.

"Both teams, especially in the long term, are in a good shape. We can lose against each team and we can win against each team."

Klopp will go head to head with Mourinho looking to get one up on his counterpart after the Portuguese 'won' their first meeting having completely nullified the threat of a free-scoring Liverpool side.

Now United are on an upward curve the task will be even harder and Mourinho will be no less determined to beat his rival.

"He was always (the most competitive) but I don't think there are a lot of managers who don't want to win," Klopp added.

"It is not new and we should not be surprised about this.

"We have this kind of angriness in us also. We go there for a result, no other reason.

"Last year (in the Europa League) was the first time I'd had the experience to play there and it was a good, intensive game.

"I don't think Jose or myself, no matter how much we want to win, can make the difference.

"The players have to perform, that's how it always is. We were ready for it (in March) and we will be ready again.

"In each game you need to have this little bit of luck in decisive situations, but that is for both of us."

It is in attack where Liverpool have struggled in their last two matches, failing to score against Sky Bet League Two side Plymouth in the FA Cup and drawing a blank against Southampton in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final in midweek.

Despite that Klopp stressed that did not mean it was time to look to change what had worked so well so far in the season or for players to become concerned.

"It was only one game where we didn't create a lot of chances - the last one - but that is how it is in life," he said.

"If something doesn't work you have to think about it. But there is no time for looking for excuses when you miss a pass, you have to be ready for the next situation."

Read More

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph