Jürgen Klopp on title finale, LFC parade and squad mentality

Press conferenceJürgen Klopp on title finale, LFC parade and squad mentality

By Chris Shaw and Sam Williams


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Jürgen Klopp's focus is wholly on Liverpool's challenge to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers as the Premier League title race goes down to the wire.

The Reds are one point behind Manchester City, who take on Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa, heading into the final weekend of the top-flight season.

Klopp previewed the campaign conclusion during a press conference at the AXA Training Centre on Friday afternoon.

The boss discussed the circumstances surrounding the title race, what he expects from Wolves, the news that the club will have a victory parade later this month, the squad mentality that has underpinned the season, and more…


On whether he ‘buys into’ the romantic story that Gerrard could help Liverpool in the title race on Sunday…

I can understand these kind of situations only by thinking myself in that role. If I would play a game and could help Dortmund or could help Mainz, it would make for me extra motivation. But I don’t play. And Stevie doesn’t play – that’s a shame! Much more a shame that Stevie is not playing than I’m not playing. Of course, we are all human beings and have these kind of things but Stevie will take it 100 per cent serious, I’m sure, without me calling him or whatever. I don’t have to. Probably the rest of the club did it already but I didn’t.

I think a really good example of how motivated football teams are to fulfil their own targets is last night’s game from Crystal Palace, wow. It was such an important game, one of the most important games for Everton in their history, and then Crystal Palace shows up there and plays incredible football. In the end they lost but the effort they put in, the passion they showed, the whole game from Crystal Palace was really good. They lost – and congratulations now to Everton for staying in the league – but that’s a good example just how football teams usually are. We play to win. And Aston Villa plays to win, that’s it. It’s a difficult place to go and City is like this: if you go there and are not at 100 per cent you get five or six easily. If you are fully there, you have a chance to get a result, how it always is in football.

But this is the game I’m not concerned about, not thinking about in the moment at all. All the things we speak about – I speak already too long about that game – but it’s completely disrespectful to Wolverhampton Wanderers because they will do exactly the same. They don’t come here and want to be part of our celebrations, they come here and want to win and get three points, definitely. We have to be ready for this game and not for the other one.

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On how proud he is with the team’s journey this season…

It has been tough but great. It’s absolutely a joy to be part of it. Being part of this group is exceptional. By the group, I mean not only the players, we are here in the building of the group. It’s insane. Working together with these people is a pure joy. Being where we are is so rare, you cannot plan it. Imagine somebody tells you before the season you’re going to be in all three cup finals and want to fight for the league. You would say, ‘Yeah, good luck with that.’ It’s actually not possible but the boys did it – fed by the people here in the building, by our supporters, by all these kind of things. It’s a fantastic time for a Liverpool supporter and now we have to make sure we enjoy the last two games as well. The most enjoyable thing in football is winning football games, that makes everything much easier. Two massive games to come, one directly on Sunday, and we have to make sure we are ready for that.

On Wolves…

Wolves played an incredible season. I’m not sure if Bruno [Lage] is 100 per cent happy because I think here and there they dropped points that were not necessary. I think it’s now the first week where they cannot fight for Europe anymore. Last week if they would have won there was a chance. Then in the decisive moment, Bruno got COVID and was not involved. I don’t know him that well but from the game we played I think I have a sense how competitive he is! And it must be horrible for him then to sit at home and he cannot do that. But it’s always like this, for the development of the team it’s always important the season and the end of the season as well, because you work with that. That’s why I expect them extremely strong, with the best possible line-up, with a clear plan. Obviously they didn’t score that many goals in the season but they conceded pretty much none. That’s a really special thing and that’s a way to build a team – obviously you have to be solid before you can be fancy. That’s what they did and that’s why I expect a lot from them next year. A very difficult opponent for the weekend.

Liverpool FC victory parade to take place on May 29

AnnouncementLiverpool FC victory parade to take place on May 29A Liverpool FC victory parade will take place in the city on Sunday May 29.

On the club’s plans for a victory parade on May 29…

We have so many reasons to celebrate, to be honest. We don’t know how many reasons but we have already enough reasons. I think already it’s enough to celebrate life. Of course, the Carabao Cup, the FA Cup and whatever will come. And of course, that we didn’t have the parade two years ago when we became champions is not the reason but another reason. I’m really happy that we can deliver what I promised that time, when I said whenever it’s possible we will have a parade. Now there’s a parade. It’s all about us, what we want to celebrate. It’s not about what other people think and I couldn’t care less, but I know already what people will say about it – ‘Really?’ It’s just for us, just for Liverpool FC, for the people, that we celebrate that we are together in this moment in time. That’s for me actually already enough to organise a parade without any trophies. But we have already two and let’s see how many more we will have until then. Whatever happens on the 28th, this 29th will be a great day.

On potential player exits in the summer…

I don’t want to see anybody leave but that’s life and that’s the situation. I have no idea. Nobody came to me and told me, ‘I want to go.’ No agent called me and said, ‘If he is not playing more…’ We will see what happens, honestly that’s not the time to think about it. But it’s 100 per cent true: whatever happens this year, what happened already this year, is just possible because of the group we have. That’s the only reason for it. We have top-class players, world-class players, in moments where in the past not. Mixed up with kids, the kids still played their part, which was absolutely nice. We were lucky in moments – we had to come back against Leicester or whatever in cup competitions, these kind of things.

It was a lot what happened in this past year and again, I have no idea who wants to go or whatever and I don’t see that really. But if somebody comes around the corner and says, ‘I have a club where I would love to go’ then it is the normal thing that always happens: the other club has to make an offer because as long as the boys are here, we have to agree as well. That’s how it is. But it is really not the moment. It is the moment where we need to focus, where we need to 100 per cent keep everybody in line, which is not a problem actually, for these two games. So, the last Premier League game, which is a massive one, and then for the other one as well.

On his ‘Ferraris in the garage’ comment after the Southampton game and how he manages the highs and lows for his squad players…

The boys bought completely in in this project, definitely, 100 per cent. The boys accept the decisions, that’s what I say, that’s why they play like they play. I have to make decisions in the end and that’s what I did for the whole season and now they would start arguing, moaning or whatever – it would not happen and will never happen, for sure not this year. That’s what made it happen, that’s why we are where we are. No, I have to make sports decisions and the rest we deal with each other in a specific way and obviously we have a lot of respect for each other and like each other and everybody bought in. We want to be as successful as possible and I have to make a few decisions and that’s it.



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