Belfast Telegraph

Klopp keen to banish thoughts of 2014 title slip-up against Chelsea

Premier League leaders Liverpool host Chelsea at Anfield on Sunday.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has dismissed comparisons with 2014 (Martin Rickett/PA)
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has dismissed comparisons with 2014 (Martin Rickett/PA)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has dismissed the 2014 comparisons with Sunday’s visit of Chelsea by insisting the club’s last title slip-up has no bearing on the game.

A fortnight short of five years ago, Brendan Rodgers’ Premier League leaders lost 2-0 after failing to handle Jose Mourinho’s defensive tactics, ending an 11-match winning run and handing the initiative to eventual champions Manchester City.

The team were criticised for not coping with the pressure but Klopp insists the current situation bears no resemblance to then.

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Demba Ba capitalised on a Steven Gerrard slip to open the scoring in the 2014 win for Chelsea (Peter Byrne/PA)

“I never thought for one second about 2014 until I entered this room. Not one second. Why should I?” he said at his pre-match press conference.

“Last year nobody asked me about (2014) before we played Chelsea at home.

“I’m not sure it’s in anybody’s mind except yours (the media’s). If the fans talk about it I can tell them all to ignore it.

“It’s nothing to do with us, it’s a completely new story. Things happen once in a lifetime, sometimes twice, sometimes never.

“Only the colours and the names of the teams are the same, pretty much. I am completely positive about the game.

“Anybody who wants to talk to any of my players about what happened years ago, don’t do it.

“We want to write our own history, and if you do that you can build on the positives of the past, ignore the negatives of the past and learn from the mistakes of the past.

“We have to do it positively, front-foot, the way we did the whole season.”

If the fans talk about it I can tell them all to ignore it Jurgen Klopp

When the teams met in April 2014 it was a top-two clash and both were in the title race along with City.

This time around Chelsea are fighting just for a top-four place but that does not mean Klopp under-estimates their opponents.

“I know we have to work really hard for the result,” he added.

“I’m not nervous, I feel the intensity of the competition, but in this moment we see the positives. We never rest there. We have to make the next step, and it’s not over yet.

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Klopp is not underestimating Chelsea (Adam Davy/PA)

“The boys are positive, but it’s still so difficult. If you want to go through without difficulties, you have no chance. We try to encourage the players to play with big balls if possible, to try everything.

“It’s not possible to play a football game without mistakes. So you don’t have to worry about them, you only have to deal with them.

“We will make mistakes on Sunday, but we have to sort it, help each other, and then we can win a football game.

“We are completely focused on the situation and hopefully it will work out.”

PA

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