J├╝rgen Klopp detailed a positive mindset in training among the Liverpool squad as they aim to turn their Premier League fortunes, starting at Sheffield United on Sunday.

With 13 games remaining, the Reds currently sit sixth in the table, five points behind fourth-placed West Ham United in the congested standings.

Klopp acknowledged the champions face a ‘big challenge’ in their fight for a top-four berth, but insists they will approach it with an upbeat attitude.  

The manager was speaking to reporters on Friday afternoon to preview the weekend’s trip to Bramall Lane. Read on for a summary of what he had to say…

On the challenge to get into the Premier League top four this season…

Big challenge, big challenge of course, that’s how it is. You only have to look at the points; it’s not too far off but already it’s a distance. So that’s all clear. We don’t have to talk too much about that, the only thing we have to do is to try to win as many games as possible. That’s what we do – and then we will see at the end of the season. But, of course, it’s a challenge.

On the atmosphere in the squad…

The atmosphere is right, if I can say it like this. It means it’s appropriate, how it should be. Yes, it’s not the best atmosphere we ever had, but nothing in between us so that’s all fine. We all agree on the things we have to do, but we have good moments as well. It’s a very challenging time for this squad, you can imagine, for different reasons. But that’s how it is; in these times you have to show your real face and that’s what the boys do. During the week we work hard, we’re looking forward to the next game, the next chance for us to turn it around, to win a football game and all these kind of things. That’s all we are thinking about. And you need some positivity for that. It’s not so easy in these moments, of course, it’s not that everything is clicking and these kind of things. But, again, I’m responsible for the atmosphere and for the mood as well, and I’m in a good mood. I’m not happy about the situation but I’ve said it before: this is a massive challenge and a challenge you can face in different ways. And I prefer to face it in a positive way because I see a lot of good things in this team, I see a lot of promising things in our performances. We know we don’t have results and we have to change things, that’s clear as well. But we cannot change things without keeping the good things as well, and that’s what we are trying. We try to influence as much as we can, and the rest we have to accept. That it’s not an easy situation is clear, but I’m pretty sure there are worse situations out there in the world than ours, so we have a positive atmosphere.

On whether Sunday is a ‘good or dangerous’ game…

It’s the game we have. There are no other questions. I know what you mean, but actually we don’t feel pressure at Anfield, even when we lost now a couple of games at Anfield; it’s not that we go there and are shaking or whatever. That’s not the case. And an away game is the same and Sheffield United is a strong side with a difficult, difficult start in the season. Meanwhile, the last 10 games I think, the results were much different. You can see that, they are much more confident, all these kind of things. They will fight with all they have, we will fight with all we have. It’s not important if it’s dangerous or difficult or the best moment, it’s the only game we have this weekend and that’s the way we want to go into it.

On the ‘positivity’ of Diogo Jota’s return to training…

Yes, of course it’s positive. It’s not the only positive, but it is very positive that Diogo is back after a long time. Most of the others who are out for a long time we will not see anymore on the training pitch until the end of the season. So, yes, it is very positive. The way he came back to training is very positive, so we just have to make a decision about what makes sense for him, when does it make sense for him and all these kind of things. Very positive, but not the only positive as I said. As a professional football player, in good times and in less-than-good times, you always have to focus in the moment when you are on the training pitch, you have to focus on training and that’s the moment when you have to enjoy training as well. For an hour-and-a-half or a little bit longer, the things around should not be influential. That’s what we all learn early from our childhood and that’s what we do. But around, some things are obviously more difficult to take, but we take them as well and we will make sure we are ready for a fight again at the weekend.