Jürgen Klopp on Merseyside derby, enjoyment, expectations and more

Press conferenceJürgen Klopp on Merseyside derby, enjoyment, expectations and more



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Jürgen Klopp acknowledged the importance of Sunday's Merseyside derby for both teams during his pre-match press conference.

Title-chasing Liverpool host city rivals Everton in the Premier League at Anfield in what will be the 240th encounter between the clubs.

Klopp previewed the much-anticipated fixture at the AXA Training Centre on Friday morning – read on for a summary of what he had to say…

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On whether there is 'more riding on this Merseyside derby than usual'...

Maybe yes, but these derbies never lacked intensity, to be honest. I love intensity in football, I love physicality in football but just in the rulebook and just make sure that we all stick to that, don't go over the top, these kind of things, [don't] make it like in the 'good old times', let me say it like this, and even we suffered from these situations. I just want to have a very intense, very physical and legally-aggressive football game but not more, because we play games after the derby as well – we should not forget, all of us. That's all. But apart from that, it was always very intense and, yes, this one is important for both, but I cannot remember when it was not important for us. I can't remember. I don't know where we would have been without the points against Everton or [where] we could've been if we would have won last year, which we lost obviously – that would've been very helpful. Yeah, maybe a little bit more but always intense.

On how big the manager's role is now given the number of 'big' games ahead...

We don't think about the other games, it's just one – it's really like this. It's just Everton, so that's a big one historically and in the situation now as well, so no need to think about anything else. Take what you can from the [last] game, if there's some confidence, some fluidity, whatever, but it's a different game again. When we stop here, we do the proper analysis again. I watched Everton a couple of times but now the proper analysis and then make a game plan in an ideal world [we] follow or do even better on the pitch than the coach wanted. Then let's try to win the game.

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On the players enjoying this situation...

Not all the time, but a lot – yes. It is a situation we didn't expect to be in and we've never been in this situation. It's incredibly tough, we play pretty much all the time. You obviously spoke to them after the game, that was a good moment. In these moments we all love what we do when you win a game, when you win such an important game and you win the manner we won the game and all these kind of things. But it's true, we love the situation we are in. You cannot plan it that you are still in and around everything. What we know, there's nothing really achieved so far yet, or it's not a lot. We won one competition – that's great – but there are three others to go, and the next one is a very important Premier League game. Yes, the boys are in a good moment. I like to say in these moments we were in a good moment because we have to prove it, unfortunately, again on Sunday. But so far it is good and, yes, we are looking forward to everything that is coming up.

On it being 12 months since last season's home draw with Newcastle United and whether this season has surpassed his expectations...

I didn't expect us to win the Carabao Cup, be in an FA Cup final, semi-final of the Champions League and one point behind the leader of the table. I didn't think about that, to be honest, but I knew we will be better. What we did last year, what the boys did last year, was very special in such a difficult situation. To get qualified for the Champions League was massive. There were a lot of moments before the Newcastle game – I didn't know that was one year ago – but before that game there were a lot of moments where I thought, 'Ah, that's difficult and we will not make that this year.' We had moments where we thought, 'OK, hopefully we don’t have to play Conference League.' That's how it is because it's, 'OK, when does that start?' and then you have to re-adjust the pre-season planning and all these kind of things. That's how it was. We didn't know exactly where we'll go to and if you make those plans and we sit down in this period of the year together, you always sit together, you go for the games, but the rest you plan around for the next season – and I remember these thoughts.

And then the boys won five games in a spectacular manner – West Brom, Ali header, all these kind of things. Outstanding, I loved each bit of it. But saying that, we knew in the moment when we can bring Ibou and when the other three boys are back, we will be stronger, that's clear. When you are third and will be stronger and had a bad year for different reasons, it is a normal human reaction that you intensify pretty much all efforts and stuff like this. That's what we did but then we had an absolutely OK first part of the season, but it was not that people were over the moon when you are 14 points behind the leader and probably a lot of other teams in between us and them. But again, what the boys made of that was pretty special so far, but that's it. We knew we will be better. But that we will be in this position, I had no idea about.



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