Jürgen Klopp is relishing the opportunity for Liverpool to ‘immediately strike back’ upon tonight’s welcome return to Anfield.
The Reds’ pursuit of the Premier League title resumes against West Ham United on Monday, with Klopp’s side heading into the game on the back of a rare defeat.
A 1-0 loss to Atletico Madrid at Estadio Metropolitano last Tuesday leaves their hopes of Champions League progression in the balance, but the focus within the home dressing room this evening will be solely on domestic matters and the chance to get back to winning ways.
“It’s the first time back at Anfield for the senior team in what feels like a while, because of the mid-season break and then successive away matches in the Premier League and Champions League,” Klopp writes in his column in the official matchday programme.
“I must say it’s fantastic to be back. We come into this after contrasting results - having won at Norwich by a single goal and lost in Madrid by the identical margin.
“In many ways both those games and both those results illustrates how hard we have to keep working if we want to achieve things. It didn’t feel to us that we played worse in the game we lost - maybe at times we played better.
“But at the level we live at now, games are close and so competitive and the line between being in a dressing room with the result you want and the opposite feeling is very narrow.
“I could not fault for a second the attitude and application of the team in Madrid last Tuesday. The intensity of our performance was really pleasing and I told that to the boys.
“There was nothing from last week that should set us back. We should look at it the other way. An opportunity to immediately strike back. We have a talented opponent coming to our home and they want to leave with the win.
“This is enough motivation. I will be happy if we take this approach into the match tonight. We’ll need to be at our very best - we know that.”
The boss goes on to note how crucial the backing of the Liverpool fans at Anfield will be tonight.
Klopp continues: “What will be critical for us this evening is the support from our greatest asset of all - the Anfield crowd. It’s a Monday night and it’s under the lights. It’s been a break since we were all here last and I think that adds to the hunger.
“But most important is that our supporters recognise just how much we need them. They have played a huge role in giving us the base we have currently. Now - like the players - it’s about upping the game for the decisive period. Anfield will be ready to perform, as they and the team have done until now, to the highest level imaginable.
“Tonight is a good time I think to show the hunger we have collectively to achieve things at the end of this season. We all recognise there is work to do - lots of work to do. We can only affect and impact the next game.
“Therefore everyone who loves Liverpool inside the ground tonight should make sure we give everything we have for this fixture.”