Press conferenceJürgen Klopp on final-day 'pressure', Liverpool's consistency and a season to remember
Jürgen Klopp insists Liverpool feel no pressure heading into the final weekend of the Premier League season with the title still up for grabs.
The Reds host Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield on Sunday, one point behind Manchester City after 37 matches, with Pep Guardiola's side taking on Aston Villa at Etihad Stadium simultaneously.
However, Klopp has outlined why his team's only focus is on attempting to pick up three points in what he predicts will be an 'incredibly difficult' fixture, rather than concerning themselves with events elsewhere.
Read on to see what the manager had to say in the second part of his pre-match press conference at the AXA Training Centre on Friday.
On whether Liverpool and Manchester City feel pressure going into Sunday...
I cannot talk about pressure on the other team, but it's like this - we have actually no pressure. We have the pressure to win a football game, but we have had that now for a while. But not about 'what if?', we don't have that. If City have that, I don't know. I am 100 per cent sure it is normal when we played Southampton and we were 1-0 down, City will be aware of that and it's then a moment when you think, 'That would be nice.' Then we turned it around again and now it goes really to the wire and it's pretty special. For us, it is very positive. If you have something to lose, it feels different, we don't have [something to lose]. We were in situations like this before, we know it is not very easy, but probably most of the time we dealt with it OK and I have no reason to think that City wouldn't, but the situation is different.
We have our situation - ours is full throttle, give it a try, let's see what's the outcome. We didn't win this game yet and in all of our talks it is like, 'Then you win and we have to look there.' No, we have to play 95 incredibly difficult minutes. With all the positivity around before the game probably, during the game hopefully, but then it is a tough opponent and I saw these games before - not when I was involved, but I watched these games when one team is really going for it and then, 1-0 for the other. Then you have to deal with that. It is like it is, it's all fine, we are where we are and now let's finish it on a high.
On Liverpool's level of consistency...
The consistency for the last few years: incredible. Again, last year was, for special reasons, a really difficult year. That we made it in the end is absolutely outstanding, that we qualified for the Champions League is absolutely outstanding. As I said it afterwards, it is one of the biggest achievements in my career, definitely. Nobody will ever remember it, I know that, but for me it is like this. We expect a lot from ourselves, we feel, we see the quality we have and we feel the responsibility that comes with that. If we are good, we have to deliver. We are good, we know that. That doesn't mean we win football games and if you are good, you still want to be better. That's what we actually try all the time.
It is a special group. I don't say it's the only special group in world football, but for us it is a really special group. We know that and that's what we try to use and to utilise, to make the best of it. Years ago, when we were a little bit with ups and downs, we already saw glimpses of where we could go and we realised, 'Yes, all fine, but we need consistency.' Consistency is obviously a pretty difficult thing to do well, but for a few years now the boys are relatively consistent and that's the only way - especially in this league, especially with Man City around because they are really consistent as well. It is the only chance to get close - and the only chance to win something is to be close before. That's what we are.
We will see, but I know how lucky I am with the group of players we have here, but again - and not because people expect me to say it - it only makes a real difference if you are as connected as we are with our fans. That makes it really special. You come here and players after two months think, 'Oh my God, it's really different.' It is really different and that's because the club is what it is. It is definitely one of the best in the world, without us playing even. But when you play good football it makes more sense and we fit a little bit better to our fanbase.
On marking the 2021-22 season regardless of what unfolds in the final two games...
I know it's similar with the Champions League final coming up. Maybe some people want us to win, but not become champions but then winning the Champions League. I don't know. Unfortunately, life is not like this. I don't remember it 100 per cent anymore what I felt before the last game of the season [in 2018-19] and these kind of things. After the game, I was fine with the situation. I remember walking on the lap of honour next to Trent and we were just talking a little bit and we both had a smile on our faces. It was a great season and whatever happens on Sunday, I will not forget that this is an absolutely fantastic season that the boys played. 'Enjoy the journey' is what we always say because you never know what the outcome is, so you better enjoy it now - and that's what we really did so far.
The biggest defeats in my life led to the biggest success I could imagine, wherever it was, whether it was Mainz or wherever. It was always like this. It's a little bit with the party the same, you never know what will happen, but even if you don't win the Champions League final, having a party afterwards... I really learned that at Mainz when we didn't get promoted. We arrived in Mainz and we thought, 'Oh, it will be really sad now' and then 20,000 people were waiting for us and we had to go on a stage the day after we lost our dream of going to the Bundesliga. It was the moment we realised that if they think it was fine then we can go from here. To these kind of things, response is really important.
Whatever happens on Sunday, we will not stop. We will not stop trying. Yes, we have the best opponent in world football, it's a bit of a shame! But they have us at their neck, that's not too cool as well. So, let's see.