After his side’s slipping to fourth place after another goalless draw in the Premier League against Manchester United, an apparently unfazed and cool-as-cucumber Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool must now shelve Premier League title aspirations and focus instead on Champions League qualification.
The week has doubtless seen results go against them, moving the champions from top spot to fourth in the table, with the Reds’ goalless draw with United on Sunday leaving them awkwardly win-less since hammering Crystal Palace 7-0 on December 19. That time frame has seen Klopp’s side taking just three points from the last 12 on offer and the draw on Sunday against the Red Devils means United remain three clear of them at the summit.
On top of that, victories for Leicester, Tottenham and Manchester City this weekend mean Liverpool are now inside the top four by a single point.
Klopp, maintaining his composure post-match, emphasized that Liverpool’s focus has always been on qualification for Europe’s premier competition first and foremost and that will stay the same until it has been mathematically confirmed.
“It was always clear when we had 98 points, the season when we came second.
“The day that I really started to think about the title race was the day it was clear we are in the Champions League. So I know my job and I know what I have to do.
“The most important thing is to qualify for the Champions League. Yes, you are right, that makes this season a tough race for the top four. That is true.
“I cannot decide how people look at it. I know that football fans in general are not the most patient species on this planet.
“They want to win each game and I am not too different to that. But I am long enough in the business to know that you go through difficult periods too.
“And it is not the most difficult situation of my life, not even close to it.”