Jürgen Klopp insists Liverpool’s Champions League exit will not impact their performance for the remainder of the season.
Klopp’s Reds drew 0-0 with Real Madrid at Anfield last night, a result that meant Liverpool lost 3-1 on aggregate after a poor first-leg performance in Spain last week.
Speaking after the match, Klopp was quick to rubbish any notions that Liverpool’s exit will negatively impact their performance levels in any Premier League games they have left:
“That will not happen that it impacts us negatively. We are not silly. We want what we earn. If we don’t earn it 100 per cent, then we respect the situation that we don’t get it. How I said, tonight if we scored an early goal this game would’ve been a different one – I think everybody knows that but it’s hypothetical, we didn’t. But it has now no impact on the Premier League, apart from that we don’t play midweeks at least internationally – I’m pretty sure Premier League plays midweeks if I’m right. So we can concentrate and focus on the Premier League – what we will and what we have to. But it’s tough just because we are still not in the hot seat, I would say, and we face Leeds on Monday, so that’s a tough one. What can I say? They are the leader in all physical stats in the Premier League pretty much, so you better run a lot yourself. We have a few days until then, we will use that and then we make sure we are ready for that.”
Liverpool did play very well on the night and, had they shown more of a cutting edge in front of goal, could have progressed to the semi-finals. Klopp was asked if the positive performance will help his players in their pursuit of a top-four finish in the Premier League over the next month five weeks:
“That has nothing to do with confidence, I would say I am naturally confident, but that doesn’t mean we will end up there. We just can read the table, we know the points, we know the situation and stuff like this. We know who we play and we don’t have to talk too much about it. I said now what we think about it and, yes, we want and we have to – and if we want that we should play really good football, what we did tonight. But if we want to go through then we should finish those situations off on top of that because that is very helpful as well. I think we are not in a bad moment at the moment; we played pretty well even when it was a late winner against Aston Villa. We played a good game against them, we played really good against Arsenal and not too good against Real Madrid in the first leg, but in the other games, we were not bad. Tonight, a good game, so we just have to keep going. We really have to keep going, we have to keep fighting, we want to be in the Champions League next year but in the moment we still have to pick up more points than a lot of other teams.”
Liverpool now turn their focus back to the Premier League for the rest of the season. The Reds have seven games remaining and are, currently, three points off fourth-placed West Ham United. With Chelsea, Leicester, and maybe even Spurs also involved, it promises to be a nerve-shredding climax to this strangest of all campaigns.
The Reds travel to play Leeds United at Elland Road on Monday night. Let’s get behind them as always.
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