Jürgen Klopp is already looking forward to 'fantastic European nights' to come after Liverpool secured a place in the Champions League group stages.

A 4-2 victory over Hoffenheim on Wednesday night sealed a 6-3 aggregate success for the Reds over the Bundesliga side, with an Emre Can brace plus goals from Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino highlighting a strong attacking performance.

The manager was reticent to make predictions about what his team might achieve in the tournament proper but could not hide his delight with the prospect of competing with Europe’s elite.

Read on for a transcript of his post-match press conference…

On what it means to be in the Champions League group stage…

Yippee! Everything… what can I say? It’s all that the club, the team, we worked for in the last 14 months. I know you will always find a few people who will say ‘It’s just the Champions League or only the Champions League.’ But we wanted to be part of it with all we have. I saw the boys play a few pieces of outstanding football. How it is in a game like this, especially against an opponent like Hoffenheim, you also have a few problems. That’s how it is. But I’m really happy about the deserved qualification for the group stage.

LFCTV GO: Highlights of the win over Hoffenheim

On the most pleasing aspect to Liverpool’s start to the season…

Actually we expect from ourselves, how everybody expects from us, that we win our games. We have good players. Roberto Firmino, what a game he made today – it was pretty much in a lot of moments not to defend. He gave the opportunity to the two quick boys on the wing, that they could have one-on-one situations that they used outstandingly good again. We played a few times really good football. But the problem in this game was that we were so dominant in the first part, so good, so dangerous and so clinical – and could have scored even more.

Then we felt the intensity of the game and then we felt the relief of the result. Big credit to Hoffenheim, they never stopped playing; they were not really bothered about the result, they were here to play a good football game in a fantastic stadium and that’s what they did. They changed the system a little bit, we should have adapted much quicker to this, and we will in the future 100 per cent. The atmosphere was outstanding – it was too loud for me to get in contact with the boys! So we needed half-time to adjust a little bit. We did and in the second half, we controlled it much better, even when it’s not always possible. We could have scored earlier but, fine.

On what the Reds could achieve in the tournament…

I don’t know. I don’t think that it’s too important to think about where we can go. When you are in the group stage, then you want to go through the group stage and to the last 16. You want to go there and to the next round, that’s how it is. A lot of things are possible but not because I say them, just because when we are really ready for all these games. It’s so exciting now to be part of it. For me personally, I don’t know exactly, it’s two or three years ago. I loved it always and I still love it. The players love it, the crowd loves it. We will have a few fantastic European nights at Anfield. All good in the moment.

On Can’s performance…

He is a great player, it was an excellent game. The first goal was great, it was a great assist from Sadio and also maybe a deflection at the near post, I’m not sure. But Emre was great and it was also useful that we kept the penalty box full of players. Emre had actually been poorly for two days, so he started a bit of training yesterday. He was in training this morning and I asked him if he was fit. He said, ‘I can play, 100 per cent’ – and he did. For 60 minutes he was excellent in this game and he really deserved today’s standing ovation.

On whether Liverpool have scored a better team goal during his tenure than their third this evening…

A better team goal? I don’t know. Maybe? I think we scored a few nice ones but that was outstandingly good. The start of the game was like a thunderstorm. If you win away 2-1, the opponent could imagine that you sit a little bit back and wait to see what they do and go for counter-attacks. We thought it made sense that we do it differently; we did high pressure and did it really well. All the passes we played, all the balls we won, it was really fantastic. Usually after 3-0 that early, it’s normal that there’s a little break – I don’t like it, but it’s normal. During this break, Julian Nagelsmann brought on another striker, took off a centre-back and changed the system – that is already brave because they could have conceded more goals and were a little bit lucky in one or two situations. We also [were lucky] in one or two situations, so this game was crazy and could have ended 9-7. But even then we would have been in the group stage, so it’s deserved.

On shouting ‘That’s football!’ to the crowd after that third goal…

So I saw it, obviously! I would be pleased if we would do this much more often! Yes, in the moment, I was very pleased. We showed we can do it. It can’t be expected every game, but we will try.

On how being in the Champions League influences transfer plans…

It’s a big influence on the transfer market, especially if we do it more often. I said I think before the game, if you talk to a player, they really often [mention it]… especially players we talk to because we don’t have to talk to players which are not better than our players because it’s difficult to find. I know a few people think differently, but we do a lot of work and it’s not that easy to find 20 players in this position that are better, 20 players in that position that are better. But if you talk to them, they say if you would play in the Champions League it would be really interesting because the club is great, the manager is not too bad and all that stuff. Or even if you try to extend a contract with a player in the squad, [they might say], ‘Yeah, I want to play Champions League’ and I always think ‘It’s your job to do it with us together, so don’t ask that we do a job and you cannot play Champions League – do it with us together.’ That’s what this team did and that’s why I am so happy about it. 14 months’ hard work and we did it – nice!

Our three-game hospitality bundle for Champions League group stage fixtures will be available to buy from 1pm on Thursday August 24. All three games must be purchased together, individual games will not be on sale. Go to www.liverpoolfc.com/hospitality or call 0151 264 2222.

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