Jürgen Klopp insists 'the watch returns to zero' today as he called on Liverpool to embrace the positive passion surrounding the Merseyside derby when Everton come to Anfield this afternoon.
The Reds go into the clash on a nine-match unbeaten run in all competitions and having won 7-0 against Spartak Moscow at home in midweek to book a place in the Champions League last 16.
Klopp has stressed that result, and indeed the side’s sequence, counts for nothing come kick-off, but wants Liverpool to use the intensity around the fixture to ensure they’re ready to go again.
The manager wrote in his column for ‘This is Anfield’: “Wednesday evening was very enjoyable for us and very significant. It was another marker of our progress, another step forward we make together. I like how we greet these challenges so far.
“When big moments come, this team finds an answer. But I think we find that answer because we concentrate all our energy and focus into that job. We do not allow any distraction of thinking what might be in the future.
“To be consistently successful at this level – with the intensity that comes from each and every week facing the highest-quality opponent – you have to focus all your physical and mental energy on the one task in front of you: the one thing you can affect in that moment.
“Today, here at Anfield, that is Everton. How we played against Spartak Moscow, the goals we scored and the result we got is now only information we can use. It cannot help us win a single tackle or header today.
“The watch returns to zero and we must go again. That means all of us, everyone at the club.
“Of course today is not just another football fixture, we know this. It is ‘the derby’. We play our neighbours and a club who shares this amazing city with us. I learned very early on that the best way to approach derby matches – games against great rivals – is to embrace what comes with it, not to ignore it.
“Matches like this are emotional and the key to doing well in them is to draw from the positive emotion; embrace that it really matters to everyone involved and give everything you have to make sure the outcome for you and your team is positive.
“In these sort of games you have to be able to say, when it is done, that you did everything you could for your supporters.”
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