Liverpool will head to Old Trafford with no fear, insists Klopp
It was right at the end of Jürgen Klopp's Melwood press briefing when the F-word was used for the first time.
"Jürgen, what do you fear about Sunday?" came the question.
"Fear?" he responded, as if he'd never heard such foul language; his eyes narrowing, his lips pursing and his arms reaching out from his blue jean pockets into a fold.
"Nothing, what could I fear?"
"Just that your team might not be at its best moment and Man United are up…"
Klopp proceeded to give the impression that United will face a wounded animal in Liverpool, admittedly wounded because of the injuries in his squad - but wounded too by the manner of the Reds' performance at Southampton during Wednesday night's 1-0 defeat in the League Cup semi-final first leg.
"At this moment, anything is possible. It could be that United are not at their best level on Sunday, just nobody knows about it yet," he said.
"I don't fear things like this. I've had enough time in the game to realise what happens. At this moment I'm 100 per cent positive, absolutely looking forward to the game. I've had so many defeats in my life, especially as a player - as a manager too - that I really know defeat is not the problem.
"Your reaction to it is the problem. We've had four days to react from a really bad game on our side by playing in a very important game. I love it. That's how football should be: you can react immediately. So let's think about this and not what could happen if we can't do it."
Klopp had earlier reminded that back when United visited Anfield in October, Liverpool were the favourites with United supposedly turning up only for slaughter. United have lost only one league game since but despite their run, they are still five points behind Liverpool.
It was offered to Klopp that United would not be able to catch his team if they go to Old Trafford and win.
"I don't care, actually," he answered. "The last thing I think about is if they can come back and overhaul us. It would be a huge gap, of course, but they were already a few points behind a few teams at the top of the table. The season is too long, this game decides not a lot, actually.
"At the moment everyone thinks Chelsea will win all their games and I don't know what they think of Tottenham. The international games come again in February and then it is difficult again.
"The whole of December and January for us is outstandingly intense, which we knew already, but if these two months decide the whole season what were you doing the rest of the season? There is still a lot to be done and a lot of things to fix."
Klopp hopes to be able to select Jordan Henderson, whose stock as a midfield shield has risen in absentia over the last few weeks.
"He adapted unbelievably good to the position so for us he is very important; maybe we relied too much on him," Klopp admitted.
Klopp confirmed that, like Henderson, Philippe Coutinho and Joël Matip trained this week and that he would decide on their level of involvement depending on reactions.
Klopp said he may strengthen in the transfer window.
"We go for the right player - if available and the club he plays for wants to sell him," he added.