Jürgen Klopp on Fulham trip, Premier League title race and more

NewsJürgen Klopp on Fulham trip, Premier League title race and more

By Glenn Price


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"We have to show we want it more than them," urged Jürgen Klopp ahead of Liverpool's clash with Fulham in the Premier League.

The Reds turn their focus back to domestic matters as a Craven Cottage encounter with Marco Silva's team awaits on Sunday afternoon.

Klopp's men are looking to get back on track in the division after last weekend's defeat by Crystal Palace and their elimination from the Europa League despite a 1-0 win at Atalanta on Thursday night.

The boss looked ahead to the trip to London, assessed the status of the title race and more during his preview to the meeting with Fulham – read a summary below.

On 'resetting' after last weekend's disappointment against Palace...

Unfortunately, all of us had enough opportunities to learn that over the years. There's no season I can remember where there were no moments where you thought, 'We should have won that, we should have done that', these kind of things. It's part of our life constantly. You have to deal with it. It's never about how many punches you get, it's always how you deal with them, the few you allow them, and that's how we have to deal with the situation – how we always did. So that's now not the big problem. It's just the problem is that they are the teams we play against.

We will find a way to be positive, to see the chance in front of us and all these kind of things. But then you have to play an opponent who has their own targets, maybe longer time for recovery, all these kind of things, different situations in general. That's the challenge in football because we never play just for ourselves, we always have an opponent. We have to make sure we become that opponent for each team again [that] they don't want to play against. We made it a bit too easy for three teams in a row and we should change that.

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On how much belief he still has in winning the league...

That's obviously not in our hands, it's not about that. I think if we would win all our games, yeah, there's a good chance that we will be champion. If not, yeah, then it's a good chance that somebody is there. Maybe we only have to win five or whatever, but nobody knows. Who would have thought that Arsenal lose against Aston Villa? But it was always clear if you are a football person, you think, 'Aston Villa, wow' – we have to go there still, so that's not one of my favourite away games or whatever – but it just happens. Now we all sit here and think, 'OK, [Manchester] City will win all their games.' Yeah, that's happened quite frequently, but they have a lot of games to play, difficult opponents as well, stuff like this. We don't think about them.

It's just, how can we make sure that we start winning games again? We had a bad week [last week] result-wise – not even performance-wise [in] all of them and [had] good moments, created an awful lot of chances and didn't use one of them more or less, so that's not great. But the worst thing in football is not to have chances – that's the worst thing. Then it's better you deal with chances you miss than you have no chances, and that's why I'm absolutely positive after a day off and stuff like this and processing the things properly. I'm more than happy with the situation we are in.

On how experienced players in the squad can help...

When we were in a position we didn't win the league in the end, so that's how it is. We lost by a point and stuff like this, so what kind of experience is that – [that] we know how to get there? It's not about that, that is not the main difference. It's good to know that you are good, that you can cause other teams problems. But the thing is clear: if you want to be champion in the Premier League, you have to be close to perfection. And if we are not perfect, you have to deal with the setbacks in the best possible way or in the perfect way – and that's what we are now doing. So we had a setback week, if you want, with three games we didn't like too much, the results especially, and now we have to start turning it around.

On how much it helps having Trent Alexander-Arnold and Diogo Jota back...

Very much but the thing is... we need Trent Alexander-Arnold, of course, but we need him in a really good shape, in form and that's now what he has to get up to. It's not about him, it's not his fault if he wouldn't be, it's just the situation, so how quick can we get him rolling? Same for Diogo, for Robbo [Andy Robertson], it's the same for Mo [Salah]. They all had injuries which they never had before, if you want – the length. Dom Szoboszlai, same. Curtis Jones, the same.

It's good to have them but it's not about who wears the shirt, it's about how can we perform? We have to find a way to help the boys in the best way, to bring them as quick as possible into their best form or shape and then from there we have to go. But, of course, each player that plays with that quality anyway, without them we wouldn't have a chance. With them, we have a chance. With them in a really good football moment, the chance is getting bigger and bigger.

On how difficult it is to get rhythm in those players at this stage of the season...

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Yeah, there's no perfect way. The boys more or less have to get through this by themselves. Now we have the injury with Conor Bradley, so it means one right-back solution is gone. It's good that Trent is back, so now he will probably find a way into it on the field by doing it. That's how it is. We can talk about that for the next five days and I'm long, long in the business and I don't know anybody who can speed these things up. It depends on the moment. The better the team plays, the easier it is for the boys to step in and to get up to speed. If we are not in a great moment, it's really tricky for them as well. They should not be the ones who turn it around. The boys who played, have much more rhythm, they have to set the level and the other boys fit in and then push us to the next level.

On the challenge of Fulham...

Now they won the last one against West Ham, so that helps probably as well. I only had a look at it but [they won] with less possession than West Ham, so obviously a slightly different approach to what they usually do. That's interesting. Marco is just an exceptional coach, I have to say, I always liked him, I always liked what he did and [what] he's doing there again. They had a bit of a strange season – they were not [doing] well, then particularly well, then again a few results which you were [like], 'Oh, what happened now?' but won five in a row and with really high results whenever that was.

And now they are probably in a more solid period again and if you cannot fight for Europe then you should not be in a relegation battle. They fought a little bit for Europe, maybe still do, but will not be involved in a relegation battle, so that's a real statement. They can more or less be calm, be themselves and we have to see. It's always like this on a day like this, we have to show that we want it more than them, even when it's at their place. That's what we will try.



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This article has been automatically translated and, while all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure accuracy, some errors in translation are possible. Please refer to the original English-language version of the article for the official version.