Jürgen Klopp on Steven Gerrard, title race and Liverpool's mood

Press conferenceJürgen Klopp on Steven Gerrard, title race and Liverpool's mood

Published 9th May 2022
By Chris Shaw

Jürgen Klopp is adopting a wholly positive mindset as Liverpool travel to Aston Villa with the aim of keeping up a push for the Premier League title.

After the Reds drew 1-1 with Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on Saturday night, Manchester City moved three points clear at the summit by beating Newcastle United.

Both sides have three league fixtures remaining in 2021-22, with Klopp’s men’s next assignment an away clash with Steven Gerrard’s Villa tomorrow evening.

Read a summary of the manager’s press conference ahead of the contest below…

Roberto Firmino closing in on return from foot injury
9th May 2022

Press conferenceRoberto Firmino closing in on return from foot injuryRoberto Firmino is close to returning to action and may be ready to face Aston Villa on Tuesday.

On whether he still believes the title race is not over…

It is clear that it is not over, whatever happened, because we both have three games to play. And my concern is actually: how can we win our games? We have absolutely no hand in how City will play their games. But before they are played I think we should not add on points; we don’t do that and I’m pretty sure City are not doing that. [Until] it’s not reachable anymore, why should we stop believing? That’s what we do.

On Gerrard being his ‘possible successor’ as Liverpool manager…

I have no idea. But my ‘possible’ successor, yes, of course it’s possible that Stevie will be manager here one day.

On if he sees that happening in reality…

I have no idea, that’s not my decision to make. It is about other parties and Stevie as well. But, yes, I think it’s possible, that’s it.

In full: Klopp's pre-Villa press conference

On how the players are now feeling after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham…

Better. It’s very easy to describe our situation. There are obviously different perspectives. You can take it exactly like it was and say we drew, they won, makes it three points [behind City] and the goal difference changed obviously as well. Or, you can see it like this, we were six points behind and they lost and we won – and the rest is exactly the same. And we would be flying, we couldn’t wait until we could play Aston Villa and try to bring the next three. As human beings, it’s really cool, we can decide by ourselves how we see it. There are some facts but we are allowed to ignore them and then I try to help the boys see it like me and invite everybody else as well. Let’s just assume we won the last game and they lost and now we go to Aston Villa. That doesn’t make the Aston Villa game a little bit easier, not at all, it just gives you a nicer perspective and that’s what I think is important as well.

On how helpful it is to have another match so soon after the Spurs draw…

If we played on Wednesday it would be great, but no, all fine. It’s like it is and no problem anymore. If we would not be used to it now then something would be really wrong, but for different reasons it would be great. Having a game again is cool but if we would play on Saturday nothing would change. It’s not that we have to overcome something. By the way, in the press conference [on Saturday], ‘Don’t behave like it’s a funeral’, I didn’t mean my players, I meant the press room because it was like, ‘Can we really talk to him? Can we ask this question, can we ask that question?’ That’s a normal result, it was always possible and especially against Tottenham. It was not really far away.

I really prefer to draw in a game like this because we still have games to play and playing a pretty good game against an incredibly well-organised team – we were not perfect but I don’t think it’s possible to be perfect against these kind of teams in the time of the season we are now. I really liked the game. If we would have won 1-0, great, but played really bad, lucky, stuff like this, everybody would be happy – one point behind City and stuff like this. But I have no idea what I can tell the boys because then you have to change everything for the next game. We have to keep going. It doesn’t make it more likely but it is better to work with, to be 100 per cent honest. The perfect situation is we would be nine points plus 20 goals on the other side [ahead of City] but that’s really not possible, so it is like it is, let’s go from here.

22/23 LFC HOME KIT

On the importance of getting a positive result ahead of the Emirates FA Cup final…

Whatever happens tomorrow night, if we win it would be helpful mood-wise, if not we have four days to create a mood until the cup final. It’s a cup final, it’s a one-off now. In an ideal world you win all the games and you are always in a great mood. A lot of times we have to respond on setbacks and that’s what we have to do. Not thinking about a setback now but, yes, in our situation, the only chance to win things is to win all our football games. That’s a tough task with the schedule but we still give it a try, by taking it one by one and not now thinking already about the cup final.

Published 9th May 2022