Jurgen Klopp suggests not even half of Liverpool is behind his side’s title challenge after Man City boss Pep Guardiola’s comments last weekend;
But Klopp, whose side drew 1-1 with Tottenham on Saturday, responded by saying only half of Liverpool would want them to win the title. The Liverpool manager reckons Guardiola’s comments were made in the heat of the moment, just as when Klopp criticised Tottenham’s style following the draw at Anfield.
“I live in Liverpool so, yes, here a lot of people want us to win the league, that’s true, but even here it’s probably only 50 per cent,” he said in his pre-match press conference, referring to rivals Everton.
“As manager, and I had this experience recently after a game (Tottenham), we are massively influenced by the game, the situation, I said – would I say it again, no – after the game ‘they play like they play and are still only fifth’. It was just my feeling in that moment and I couldn’t respect Antonio (Conte) more and what he’s doing.
“After getting knocked out the Champions League, that’s already difficult enough to take but then, of course, Liverpool made it to the final. You have these kinds of things, ‘they played Villarreal and we played Real’ and you say what you say. He’s [Guardiola] right, I was right about fifth place and Tottenham, and he was right we won the Premier League only once.
“I have no idea if the whole country is supporting us, it’s not the feeling I get when we go to places, it’s actually the opposite. Maybe he knows more about that than me.”
Liverpool now need to hope City slip up in their three remaining games to give them a chance to win the Premier League, but boss Klopp has stressed the title race is not over.
“It’s clear it is not over because we both have three games to play and my concern is how can we win our games,” he said.
“We have absolutely no hand in how City play their games but before they are played, we should not add on points. We don’t do that and I’m pretty sure City is not doing that. [Until] it’s not reachable anymore, why should we stop believing?”
Klopp will attempt to change the perspective of his players despite falling three points behind City, to lift their mood after dropping points at Anfield for the first time in 2022.
“We can take it exactly like it was, we drew, they won. It makes it three points and the goal difference changed as well. Or you can see it like we were six points behind and they lost and we won,” he said.
“We would be flying and couldn’t wait to play Aston Villa. As human beings we can decide by ourselves how we see it. There are some facts but we are allowed to ignore them and then I try to help the boys see it like me.
“Let’s just assume we won the last game and they lost. It doesn’t make the Aston Villa game easier; it just gives a nicer perspective which I think is important as well.”
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