Jürgen Klopp has challenged his Liverpool players to use each of their remaining 16 Premier League matches in 2016-17 to once again demonstrate the qualities that helped them make such a powerful start to the campaign.

Since the turn of the year, the Reds have won just one of their eight matches in all competitions, but the manager feels that should not detract from the progress they’ve made overall this season.

And Klopp wants his team to put recent frustrations out of their minds and focus on what can still be achieved this term – starting tonight against Chelsea at Anfield.

He wrote in his matchday programme column: “16 matches and 48 points: this is our season now. This is our focus.

“When the season began we had three competitions for which we could fight to bring some special moments to LFC this campaign. We reached a semi-final of one and the fourth round of another. We can no longer do anything about the cup competitions. For this season at least that journey is over.

“But, in the Premier League we remain in a really good way and we have big opportunities to make a really impressive mark on this. It is undoubtedly the most competitive this league has been for some time, possibly ever. I think glancing at the points totals of the teams in the top six and comparing it to other seasons will show this.

“We are one of those teams who has, up until now, performed really well, to a very high standard and had results to go with it. If you like, we have given ourselves a very strong base or foundation. The players have earned this position with their talent and attitude. They have put us in a good way. With 16 matches to go we know we have a great chance to build on what we have done and make it a season where LFC challenges again at the very top of the league. This is what we want for this club at all times; it is what we are working towards.

“I think this is a moment where we should not be distracted by the fear of failure. Fear, if you allow it, can restrict your progress and prevent you from developing and growing. We will not allow this.

“I do not expect for one moment that people will be happy and clapping after we lost three matches at home in a week. I am not a silly person and I know, at a club of this stature, such an outcome will cause debate and discussion. But as the person most responsible for the outcome on the pitch, I think I know better than anyone where we currently are in our development and what big strides forward we have made since we all came back together at the start of July 2016.

“We are only just over halfway of the Premier League season. We have played well in nearly every one of those games. Of the three we have lost, until now, I think we could make a case we gave ourselves opportunities to take something from those also.

“So these players and this team are, in my view, as strong, powerful and capable as any in the country at the moment. After last week there will be less people than before who might believe me when I say this. But we have 16 matches where we can show what our abilities are. Each of these matches is an opportunity to show what we are and what we know we can be.”

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