Jürgen Klopp: Let's play a really good game and see where it takes us

Press conferenceJürgen Klopp: Let's play a really good game and see where it takes us

By Sam Williams and James Carroll at Stadio di Bergamo


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Jürgen Klopp described Liverpool's determination to produce a much-improved performance against Atalanta as they seek to overcome the odds and reach the Europa League semi-finals.

The Reds go into Thursday night's last-eight second leg at Stadio di Bergamo facing a three-goal deficit from last week's first meeting at Anfield.

Ahead of the return match in Italy, Klopp held a pre-match press conference at the stadium.

Read our round-up below...

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On whether Liverpool can draw any inspiration from the famous Barcelona comeback in 2019...

What is similar? The result, definitely. The performance, not really. We played at that time an exceptional game and lost 3-0 [in Barcelona] and nobody knew how. I think we shouldn't have lost the last game [against Atalanta] 3-0, but we were not as great as we were then in that game [in Barcelona]. And, we lost at home [last week] and are now away, that's a massive difference. It's really not about comparing or whatever. We are here and will try to win the game tomorrow, that's all – and I think that's what we should do. We will see if that's possible. A lot of moments we had last week, really good moments, were unlucky but in the end they won, completely deserved. They played a really good game, we didn't play extremely well. So, that's it now. Let's start with a much better performance, let's try to win the game and then we will see how much time is left in the end, but that's all.

On what he will say to the players before the game tomorrow...

What I remember from that time [against Barcelona] is I usually don't prepare these kind of things like that, especially not a day before or four years before or whatever. What I will say to the boys I will think about tomorrow, but definitely nothing about these kind of things were said in the press conference before. I remember I said if we fail then let's fail in the most beautiful way – and that's exactly how I see it again. But, I said it already, we want to win the game – and if we want to win the game then we better play good. If we play good we have a chance to win it and then we will see. It is exactly like that.

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What I said after the game [last week] as well: directly after the game, everybody in the stadium in Liverpool – the Liverpool supporters, the Atalanta supporters, players and our staff – thought that's it. But now it is a week later and I don't think everybody thinks it is already decided. We are here and we can be good, but obviously we can be not so good as well so let's see what we can put on the pitch tomorrow. My team meeting will not happen in front of the world here in the press conference, it will happen there and if we win the players will find a reason to tell the world what I said and if we lose nobody will want to hear what I said. That's it.

On what impact Liverpool's approach had on the outcome of the first leg...

Nothing. That we conceded the three goals had nothing to do with the approach. Losing the ball in the wrong moments, not being organised in moments, had nothing to do with the approach. It's not that I said to the boys let them run, they will not score when we leave them alone in the box. It was not the way we spoke about it. The approach will not change. We should do better in these moments, we should do better in possession, against the ball we should be better and more consistent. We should play a really good Liverpool football game, the way we usually play. We are a well-organised team, [but] we were not always that night. Look, if you want to win the game then you better not concede, that's clear. It's not that it is not allowed to concede at all, but it makes life easier not to concede. To win 1-0, which would always be already a good result, you shouldn't concede and that's a big part of the match plan tomorrow.

On how important the Europa League remains to Liverpool this season…

One hundred per cent. We are here. I am long enough in this business to know it is two legs and it is over when it's over. As far as I know, we are still allowed to play tomorrow so that is what we will try, that means it has our 100,000 per cent focus. We are only here for one reason – I am pretty sure this is a wonderful region but we did not even look [at it]. We are only here for playing football, that's what I can say. But I cannot win this game in this press conference today, that's why I am not really interested in what you are asking and what I am answering as well because the main part is obviously when I leave this room, finally, it starts. But we are 100 per cent focused.

On whether he expects Atalanta to employ the same strategy as in the first leg…

We played four years ago against Atalanta and they played like this, but the result was different here. Man-marking is not the problem – they did really well, but we did not do well. Yes, we didn't win against [Manchester] United but we created I don't know how many chances and they play man-marking so that's not the problem. We have to do better, we have to do better. We played, in these moments, to their cards but that's not to change anymore, it is just the description of the game. Specific runs we did not often enough that night would have caused them more problems, but tomorrow the game is even more difficult because they don't have to score at all and I don't know exactly what they want to do.

But it is not easy to approach a game when you are 3-0 up. We had that in the past, when we won here in Bergamo 5-0, at home it was not easy to find the right mood for that game and in the end we lost 2-0 I think. It's really not simple because usually you fight for everyone and how do you want to fight tomorrow when you are 3-0 up? That's really not easy for them as well, so we will see who deals better with the situation and all these kind of things. If Atalanta go through, congratulations and they deserve it, and if not then something special probably would have happened but I don't know in this moment if that is possible.

On Gianluca Scamacca, who scored twice in the first leg at Anfield…

He was exceptional against us. He was really, really good – in England we say he was a 'handful'! He is difficult to play against, great in the air and great on the floor. I liked him when he was at West Ham, I didn't know him too well when he came to West Ham. It didn't work out there 100 per cent but that can happen because the Premier League is a difficult league to play but you can see he has great quality. I don't know now all the other Italian strikers, to be honest, to compare them – well, I know them all but I don't know who is contention to be the No.9 for Italy and who is not. But for a specific way of playing I would say he is a fantastic option. He is a real focus player, he can bring the ball down, gives you time to push up, is a threat in the box, has speed as well: that's a really interesting package. Yes, he made a big difference in that game but we didn't make it too difficult for him as well so we should make it a little bit more difficult tomorrow.



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