Jürgen Klopp wants Anfield to be ready to create the latest installments into the list of the stadium’s most memorable European nights as they prepare to contest their first home Champions League fixture as tournament holders.
The Reds take on FC Salzburg this evening in the Group E encounter in what will be their first game on Merseyside in the competition since winning it last June.
And Klopp is eager for 2019-20 to see more chapters added to the long list of fabled European occasions at Anfield.
He wrote in his column in the official matchday programme: “I have no problem talking or thinking about the amazing nights we have already had, but I’m much more interested in creating a situation where we can enjoy more like it. This team is much more concerned with ‘the next one’ than ‘the last one’. This is how we have to be.
“In our situation looking back is only useful if we take the information and experiences from it that help us. If we look back – as a collective – and remember that by making Anfield a cauldron of noise and positivity, we help affect performance in the best way possible, I’m good with that.
“Of course, as always, responsibility lies with us to perform in a way that inspires. But I keep using the word ‘love’ about being back at home tonight and I’m repeating it because it’s the overriding feeling.
“I love that this is our home and we make it unique. I love that we have our own way. Our own atmosphere. I know we will need it tonight and we will need it as much as any European game we have played in this place in the past four years.
“I welcome Jesse Marsch, his players, staff, officials and supporters of FC Salzburg to Liverpool. For the visiting fans, I hope they get a chance to enjoy the hospitality and warmth of this wonderful city.
“What an incredible team and a superb head coach they have. Jesse has them in a really good way. They are so positive and their results show this. They love to attack and they are a team that attacks with confidence and scores often. Their opening result in the group saw them score six against Genk. Trust me when I tell you that this says more about the quality of Salzburg than it does the weakness of Genk.
“This weekend, another four goals in a domestic game. Really good side. Excellent players. Great leadership. Tough, tough opponent. Really tough.
“But this is the Champions League and you don’t face anyone who isn’t of the highest quality. It’s why it’s such an amazing competition. And what’s really cool is that we are a good side also, with plenty of quality. I don’t think I need to talk too much about this – we have seen it from this incredible group of players time and time again.
“So, I trust that even though we take on a very difficult team, we do so respecting them but focusing on our own strengths, our own qualities.
“Returning to the point I made at the very beginning, we are back at home tonight after what feels like an extended time away from Anfield, but I’m certain it won’t take us long to feel like we’ve ever been away.
“Our visitors from Austria will make loud noise constantly. Sadio and Naby have both spoken to me about how passionate their supporters are and told the boys they create a really inspiring atmosphere for their players. This is cool because I know in these moments Anfield responds with its best face.
“It’s a Champions League game, under the lights, and the result is really important and significant. So there is a job to do for all of us.
“Let’s do it!”
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