Jürgen Klopp has explained why Liverpool will not pause to consider their remarkable form this season until after 2019-20 comes to a conclusion.

Having already lifted the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup this term, the Reds lead the Premier League by 16 points and continue their defence of the Champions League against Atletico Madrid next month.

For now, though, their focus is firmly on an FA Cup fourth-round date with League One side Shrewsbury Town this Sunday.

In the second part of his pre-match press conference on Friday, Klopp discussed the trip to Shrewsbury, the approach he takes to assessing Liverpool’s form, and Xherdan Shaqiri’s situation…

On the challenge of facing a lower-league side away from home…

Of course, it’s tough. That’s the really good thing of a cup competition. Shrewsbury qualified for the round in a difficult game, they had to play twice against Bristol City and qualified. They are looking forward to the game, for sure, since they were qualified; they knew before that we would be the opponent. That’s exactly what I said about the competition, [that] the lower-league team can play at a home ground is an advantage, 100 per cent. Hopefully the pitch will be OK, I have no idea so far about any circumstances. So, we will see that. But that’s proper ‘cup’ [football] and I like that. Is it a test? Yes, maybe, but it’s not that I test the players, it’s a test in general that you play against a team who fights the fight of their life, maybe, and we have to show how important the next round is for us. But I’m not really in doubt about our boys and hopefully we can show that.

On when he will reflect on the levels Liverpool have reached this season…

I have no idea, actually, I don’t think about it. I think it makes sense, if I look back, to do it after the last game [of the season], whichever game that will be. We’re still in two cup competitions. For the league, there is absolutely no reason – there is really a lot to do still. In the cups, we are where we are ahead of the next round. Shrewsbury and Atletico Madrid, these are the opponents. So, no idea.

On whether he ‘gets a sense’ of what is being achieved by his team…

Not really. It’s really about doing what you have to do until it’s over. There’s no 10 per cent party in my mind, no 15 per cent, no eight per cent – there’s just no party. It’s not like this. After the game yesterday, I have these little meetings immediately where I tell the boys what I think and, to be honest, I had to remind myself at the end to say, ‘Congratulations, the result was outstanding’ because before that I spoke about all the other things that were not that good – not because I’m looking for it, just because that’s important as well. We have no time really to make assessments and analysis from our last game. We analyse the next opponent. There are these two meetings – directly after the game and today before training – where I speak a little bit about that. But I think it’s important that we get all the information.

It’s not like this, it’s not like we forget what we have to do better. We are all happy with each other, we are in a good place, that’s clear. But a lot of other teams are the same. We were in a good place last year and the year before when we didn’t win anything, because we just like working together. We just like working together on improvements and there’s still a lot to improve. That’s our life. Imagine anybody in the past after they won something or looked like they’d win something, [if] they would have stopped, that never got rewarded in history. What the boys said, after our career we want to look back and in an ideal world mix up what we won and when it was. That was maybe more a joke when we said it the first time but it’s kind of the idea we have together.

On whether Shaqiri is frustrated by the fitness setbacks he has had this season…

Yes, it’s not cool, absolutely not cool. But maybe there are different reasons, for sure. Shaq is a very special player in different departments. His physique is different to all others I ever saw, his muscles are unbelievable. It’s never ‘big’ so far, but it was always enough to get him out. I can imagine that’s frustrating. It’s frustrating for him, it’s not cool for us. But not to change. We work on that obviously, we don’t want to bring in the situation where that constantly happens, but so far we didn’t find the 100 per cent solution for it. We have to see.

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