Jürgen Klopp looks back on 2017 as a year of undoubted progression for Liverpool but with a sharp hunger to achieve more for the club in the 12 months to come.
The Reds secured a return to Champions League football with a fourth-place finish in the Premier League last season and subsequent play-off victory over Hoffenheim.
So far this term, Klopp’s men have eased into the last 16 of Europe’s elite club competition – where they will face FC Porto – and remain in the top four domestically at the halfway point.
As Liverpool kick off the second half of the campaign by hosting Swansea City at Anfield, the manager has taken a moment to assess his team’s development during the calendar year.
“It is maybe more important than ever that as a club – that is team and supporters – we recognise the importance of our continued development,” writes Klopp in matchday programme ‘This is Anfield’.
“No-one here ever concedes a fight until the final bell of the final round sounds, but realistically Manchester City are in a good moment. If we were lesser people than we are collectively, we could maybe use that as an excuse to not perform to our maximum. It is vital that we all – every single one of us who cares about this club – banishes any attitude of that nature to the sidelines.
“We are about progression and development and our ambition is below no-one. We have trophies to fight for and goals to achieve this season. This team and this group of players is about so much more than just entertaining. Yes, we work every day because we love football and we all believe in playing the game in an adventurous, positive way. But that is just a part of what we are about.
“Our identity – as individuals, as a team, a squad and as a club – is about winning.
“So, with the year coming to a close in the next few days it is appropriate we look back briefly on what has been a very fulfilling 12 months together, but more so look ahead to what is still to be achieved together.
“We must take the information and learning from the last year and use it to our advantage for what is to come. I have confidence with the amazing players and staff we have, allied with the support we get each and every matchday, that the next year will be even better.”
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