Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp believes that his team should fight a battle to qualify for the Champions League next season, before thinking about the possibility of preserving the Premier League title.
And in a goalless draw with leaders Manchester United on Sunday, Liverpool fell to fourth place, 3 points behind United and one point from all Manchester City and Leicester City after 18 games, and is only four points clear of West Ham United ninth.
A series of injuries, especially Dutch center-back Virgil van Dyck, led to a vacillating season for the red team, as Portuguese Diogo Jota missed after presenting a remarkable offensive performance after coming from Wolverhampton.
In light of the unexpected results of most of the leading clubs, Klopp said that the competition will be more intense than ever. “When we finished the season in the runner-up position (2018-2019), I really started thinking about winning the title after securing qualification for the Champions League.”
The first four clubs in the Premier League qualify directly for the group stage of the most important continental club competition.
“I know my job and what I have to do. The most important thing is to qualify for the Champions League and I know how difficult it is. This season will be a difficult race for the first four,” said the former Borussia Dortmund coach.
The 53-year-old conceded that the fans were not “the most patient type” and wanted to win every match.
“I am no different from them, but I have been in this business for a long time to know that getting through difficult times is very possible,” he added.
“It is not the most difficult in my life … so it is a situation where we play football and we have injuries and still are, and we have become accustomed to them in the long term while some of the injured started coming back to us.”
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