In fullJürgen Klopp's Chelsea programme notes
Read Jürgen Klopp’s programme notes for today’s game with Chelsea in full.
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There are times when we think about our supporters even more than usual and around midnight on Tuesday was definitely one of those moments. With snow falling heavily, temperatures dropping and late night turning into early morning, the motorway was reduced to one lane, and traffic – much of it carrying our fans returning from Wolves – came to a standstill. It was clear no-one would be getting home soon.
I should stress this straight away – none of us need this kind of scene to know the sacrifices our supporters make. We could not be more aware. That is why it is so important that everyone who works for this club gives everything that we possibly can for the Liverpool family.
We know the money that is spent, the time given up and the energy used to support our team, which means it is always a privilege for us to play for you. But as I said, there are moments when you feel this more than usual.
On the team bus, I thought about the time that people would walk through the front door, how many hours they would be able to sleep before having to get up for work, to take children to school and in some cases to go to school! I also looked at the roads and the conditions in general and it brought it home to me even more.
Like anyone else in this kind of situation, I was not happy that the motorway was not fully open and it definitely was not ideal for us as a team, but my main thoughts were for the supporters travelling back to Liverpool and wherever else. I can only hope that everyone got back safe and sound and that the journey was worthwhile.
It definitely felt worthwhile at the stadium with the fight that the players gave and the result that we achieved together, so hopefully this feeling carried on all the way home.
I have a lot of gratitude for our supporters right now. Recent games have not been easy for us – this is very clear. Brighton away was a big test in many ways and I was very clear afterwards that the performance was not of the standard we look for and have reached many times in recent seasons.
But the big positive was the supporters who stuck with us. This is so, so important.
This togetherness gives us the best possible chance of building something and I do not think it is a coincidence that we followed a really bad moment at Brighton with a really good one at Wolves.
Everything we have learned and experienced, over the past however-many years, tells us that sticking together is important – and what makes this club special is we are able to stay together even when it might not be easy to do so.
I have been told by people who know Liverpool much better than I do that this kind of solidarity is a trait of the city and the people of the city. Whatever it is, I hope it does not ever change because it is one of the very best things about this club.
With Chelsea being our opponents, it makes sense that I also show gratitude to our supporters for the work they have done in stopping a chant which does not fit in with the traits of our city, our club or our people. I will not refer to it by name in this column because I think the less we can hear about it and see it the better, but the really, really positive thing is that fans have come together to try to make it a thing of the past.
We can already feel the effects of this. Positive steps have been made and hopefully this will allow our supporters from the LGBT+ community to feel as welcome as they should.
This was the message I received when I spoke with Paul Amann from Kop Outs a couple of years ago. He just wanted the chant to stop so that all our fans could feel more welcome. I did not think it was too much of an ask then and I do not think it is too much of an ask now, so it is good to see the support Kop Outs are receiving. Hopefully this will carry on not only today but also in the future.
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‘Our values are supporting each other’ – Jürgen Klopp meets Kop Outs
Finally, I would like to extend the warmest welcome to Graham Potter and the players, staff, officials and supporters of Chelsea FC.
When Graham was in charge of Brighton, I spoke many times of my admiration for him and the work he has done as a manager. This is as true today as it was then.
His work speaks for itself and should be judged over years and not weeks. I will certainly not make the mistake that others on the outside are making by thinking the way it has been for Chelsea recently will not change any time soon.
I am expecting them to show their best face today, so it makes sense that we should show ours. Let’s give it a try.
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