Jürgen Klopp anticipates his Liverpool players will be required to dig deep once more when they take on Leicester City at Anfield this afternoon.
The Reds come into the contest on the back of hard-fought victories over Sheffield United and Salzburg in the last seven days.
And Klopp believes the mental attributes displayed by his team will need be drawn upon once more as former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers brings his high-flying Foxes side to Merseyside.
He wrote in his column in the official matchday programme: “I honestly can’t think of a tougher opponent to face in this moment at Anfield and I know they will be very motivated. They've always done well against us since I've been here and now they are again on the upward trajectory.
“Aside from Brendan returning, it will also be great to see Kolo Toure again. What a guy. We didn’t work together that long but in the time we did, he gave me and the team absolutely everything.
“Both Brendan and Kolo, plus other members of his staff, will I’m sure be given a warm welcome back. Although for the game itself we press 'pause' on the friendship button.
“Turning back to ourselves, today is the final game in this mini-block of fixtures before another break. I have run out of words to praise the squad for their commitment.
“This is a period where getting over the line in games is important. It is not always possible to have the best rhythm every time we play. Some teams do have it – Leicester being a perfect example. We, in this moment, are playing in a very smart way I think.
“We have periods of games we play football not to be rivalled, and other times we have to show clever game management. I am absolutely fine with this. Also, as is always the case, the importance of the whole squad has never been more visible, in training and in the games. I have no idea what 11 will start today at the time of writing this column, but I know I can rely on every player on our roster if and when called upon.
“The game on Wednesday proved that even if you don’t start, coming on is just as important to impact the result. What is key is you must be ready. It is the one expectation I have and in fairness these boys always deliver.
“Finally, the atmosphere at Anfield on Wednesday was again sensational – but as with the team, we will require another big push today. I don’t want to overstate this, having mentioned repeatedly, but Leicester are in a good moment. Their fans, like their team, will come here with a feeling of positivity.
“But we need no reminder of our responsibilities because it’s our stadium, our pitch, our home, our Anfield. We can make it special again and I’m sure we will – by going again and giving our all together.”
Today’s game is the first return to Anfield for Rodgers since leaving the club in 2015 - and Klopp is full of admiration for his predecessor.
He added: “For Brendan – what can I say, other than welcome back to a good friend of this club.
“It can be strange when you follow a manager into a club, because in recognising the excellent work they have done you are almost questioning why they have left in the first place. Of course, these are not decisions we make as coaches or managers ourselves.
“Here’s what I do know: I was very fortunate to inherit the team I did from Brendan. I watched from Germany and admired greatly what he did at Liverpool in his time here. He built a team with a clear identity and purpose. A team who were adventurous and clever. And it was a team who enjoyed success.
“I can honestly say, hand on heart, the quality of team Brendan left and the good shape they were in was a fantastic legacy for any manager.
“The beneficiaries of Brendan’s guidance now are Leicester City and what a start to the season they have enjoyed. Again, great performances and brilliant results. So hard to play against, so difficult to stop what they do. Be it home or away they are a constant threat.”
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