Belfast Telegraph

Feeling like victory is a must will make life difficult for Liverpool, says Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool v Watford, Premier League, Anfield, Tonight, 8.00pm

In control: Jurgen Klopp isn’t looking too far ahead in title race
In control: Jurgen Klopp isn’t looking too far ahead in title race

By Carl Markham

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists he has not considered the prospect of having to win their final 11 matches to lift the Premier League title.

The goalless draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday lifted his side back above Manchester City into top spot with a one-point lead.

After three draws in their last four league matches, Liverpool can't afford many more dropped points, but Klopp said maintaining a perfect record from now until the end of the season had not come into his thinking yet.

"We don't have to look that far. It's so positive, and if you now only judge the moment and see the opportunity, then everything is fine," he said. "But if you always look one week back, two weeks back, three weeks back, where we dropped points or we conceded goals, and you talk like 'We have to win' instead of 'We can win', then that makes life a little bit more uncomfortable.

"For a lot of supporters it would be the first time in their life that they are champions, and for a lot of my players as well. It's a pure opportunity, and you have to use it on the front foot."

Klopp's side have struggled to break down sides in recent games, including Bayern Munich in the Champions League where they were held to another goalless draw last week.

They have scored more than once in a match on only one occasion - the 3-0 win over Bournemouth - in the last five fixtures as opponents have become better at shutting out Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

Klopp, however, is not concerned.

"The world changes constantly, the football world too. And the new awareness of Liverpool changed a lot of things, but that hasn't held us back," he added.

"We always had solutions in pretty much all of the games. We fight for results, that's what we have to do. The boys do that and so I am fine with that."

The Reds manager is likely to have to come up with another solution at home to Watford tonight as Firmino is unlikely to play after rolling his right ankle on Sunday, although he could return for the weekend's Merseyside derby at Goodison Park.

"He looks good, we were lucky. It is not as serious as we thought, but if Bobby leaves the pitch, it is not a good sign," he said. "Because it's Bobby, yes (there is a chance for Watford), but I don't know if I would use that chance.

"If we have to change a few things, we will. We changed a couple of things during the season, but obviously Bobby was pretty much always involved.

"That's not the case this time, but we have the options which we will choose for the start, one of them and maybe during the game a second one."

Belfast Telegraph


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