Finishing in top 4 would be a big achievement, admits Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has admitted that finishing within the top-four in the Premier League would be a massive achievement, as the Reds gear up to face Sheffield United on Sunday (Monday, 12:45 AM per IST), February 28.
The Reds are without a Premier League win in their last four outings, losing to Brighton, Manchester City, Leicester City and Everton, which has let them slip to sixth place in the league tally, five points behind fourth-placed West Ham United. Up next for them is a rather easy game against Sheffield United, the list of fixtures that follows is enticing. They face Chelsea on Thursday, March 5, followed by the Champions League round-of-16 second-leg tie against RB Leipzig then Wolves on March 16 and Arsenal on April 3.
So it didn't come as a surprise when Klopp was asked about what it would mean for Liverpool to finish within the Champions League spots. He simply said, "Big. So the game we played against Leicester, we lost but the performance we showed on that day, that's a game usually where only one team wins. We played against West Ham and I think they're in front of us as well but it's all about results.
"The table doesn't lie, never. We know that performance-wise we are not that far away but results-wise we are, so that's what we have to change. For all the different reasons that it was a difficult season so far for us, we've always tried to sort it.
"But while we try to solve one problem, another one occurs and that's how it is. That's in a season where it's not going perfect which is the case for us for sure. It then means that other clubs with big potential, City, United, Leicester, Chelsea, West Ham who are in and around us. Tottenham have similar problems to the ones we have maybe and Arsenal as well so there is a distance to go for us.
"We don't have to think about that really, we have to think about Sheffield United. If we can do that then we are maybe a step closer or not. Chelsea is coming as well which will be a proper game so if we do it [finish in the top four] in the end, it would be big."
Liverpool have been hit by a massive injury crisis and to rub salt on their wounds, their skipper, Jordan Henderson has been ruled out until April after picking a groin injury against Everton. The captain joins the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Fabinho on the treatment table. This understandably raised a question of a potential rebuild which Klopp easily snubbed.
"I don't think it's time for a massive rebuild," he added. "The squad of this year didn't have the chance to play together so I think it would make sense to look at that as well.
"On top of that, little readjustments will happen, so reacting to the situation but planning at the same time for the future. I'm not sure we can do that in the summer, to be honest, but that's what we'll try."
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Paul Ellis