In fullJürgen Klopp's final programme notes of the season
Read Jürgen Klopp's final matchday programme notes of the season in full.
What a season Wolves have had. They are a brilliant football team with big talent and a proper work ethic. I am very pleased for Bruno. I don’t know him personally but he’s done a fantastic job this campaign and is clearly a cool, thoughtful guy.
He’s been coaching a very long time, at various levels and different roles, so it is easy to have a huge respect for him. He has a clear idea of how he wants to play and his players respond to that. It sounds simple but it isn’t.
Our match at their place earlier in the season is one of the toughest we faced in all competitions. Not that we need a warning sign but we have a personal memory to draw from so it makes sense to use it.
Wolves will be exactly the same today, I’m sure. Resilient. Organised. Determined. Full of purpose. Full of ambition. Full of quality.
I should also mention their captain, Conor Coady, who has all of these qualities and more. I have no doubt that the staff at our Academy who remember him will be unbelievably proud of the player that Conor has become. He is the symbol of a great club and our admiration for him and his achievements is absolute.
From our perspective I can’t be any clearer in my message: our focus is here. Our focus has to be here. If we can’t win this game then nothing else matters. Winning here today is a hard enough task. We will need to give everything. We will need to be patient and smart. We’ll need to work harder than them.
Our minds, our bodies, our everything have to be entirely at Anfield. I know I don’t need to give this team talk to players or supporters because they’ll know their job.
Make our home a cauldron of positive energy. Make it fizz. Make it buzz. It’s for us to do it on the pitch and our people from the stands.
I want us all in ‘work mode’. We have a job to do. And then, when the work is done, we can all show appreciation for each other. Then we can celebrate with each other, regardless of the outcome. Honestly, if we all give everything for the match, at its conclusion we can have nothing but pride irrespective of outcomes elsewhere. This is my wish for today.
We have essentially reached ‘the final’ of everything we have competed for. Two domestic cups, the European Cup – and to take the Premier League campaign to the last match round is the equivalent of reaching a final.
Saying how proud I am of our team and our club is an understatement.
I said on Tuesday night, shortly after the win at Southampton, that I felt quite emotional. And I did. I was choked up, to be honest.
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Inside St Mary's: Another great away day
This was mainly because it was a perfect case study of how together we are as a club. All of us. We all contribute. We all play our part. We are such a powerful collective.
The players who came in, who have been denied more minutes this season not because of lack of ability or effort but simply the restrictions of the teamsheet, showed the world what I see every day. They are warriors. They make us what we are.
Likewise the supporters who came to St Mary’s. The away end. Wow. After all the travelling, spending, time off work… all the sacrifices to follow and support us… they were on their toes and our 12th man from beginning to end. They are not to compare.
And this team is not to compare. I was asked after the FA Cup final win where I thought this Liverpool team ranked among the greatest in history. I can’t remember what my answer was but given where my head was it probably wasn’t impressive. And I get this question a lot.
So let me answer now: it’s unique and does not need to be pitted against any other.
Because this team, this set of players, are all about the present. We respect our past and we are excited for our future. But these special, special, special boys are about the here and now. They live for the moment.
It’s why they’ve achieved such remarkable things this season already. It’s why when the whistle goes for kick-off everything that has gone before won’t matter and everything that could come after will be ignored. They will play the moment right in front of them. They will compete like crazy. It’s what they do. They’re my heroes, to be honest.
I said earlier, when the work is done we should celebrate each other and show appreciation to each other regardless of what the ultimate outcome is. It’s so important. We are a community.
And it’s important I use this column, on behalf of all the staff and the players, to pay tribute to the even tighter group we have around us as individuals, and that’s our families.
Without the support of those who love and care for us at home we would be nothing. I know I would be lost for sure. Without Ulla and my two boys, I would be nowhere. They make it all make sense. And it’s the same for all of us so privileged to work here. Our families make sacrifices so we can shine. For us, days like today are about showing appreciation for them also.
None of us can make promises this afternoon beyond the commitment we make every day that we represent Liverpool Football Club and that is to do our very best. We give all we have and see what happens.
But one thing is for sure: we won’t ever give up. We won’t give up in games. We won’t give up on competitions. We won’t give up today. We won’t give up next season either. Or the seasons after that. This club never gives up. We keep going.
Sometimes we suffer together, sometimes we share joy together.
For us it’s always about the journey. It’s a shared journey. It cannot be taken away from us and presented to someone else and engraved with their name on it. This is ours and we should cherish it.
From my heart, which is full of love and anticipation, I thank everyone who’s joined us on the journey so far this season. You’ve been great travelling companions. And we haven’t finished yet.
- Pick up a copy of the programme at Anfield on Sunday or order online here