Jürgen Klopp has declared that Liverpool are not looking at the Premier League table at the half-way stage, insisting that they will only think about Chelsea when they go head-to-head at Anfield later in January.
The Reds' statement victory over title rivals Manchester City at the weekend narrowed the gap to Antonio Conte's league leaders to six points, the Blues having stretched their remarkable winning run to 13 games earlier the same day.
But Klopp is wary of getting pre-occupied with the league's frontrunners, insisting they must focus on their own business until the two teams clash again on January 31st.
Klopp insists Liverpool cannot be annoyed by Chelsea's winning streak
Asked whether his side were frustrated by Chelsea's winning run and their six-point gap, the German said: "How can we [be]? We come from [last year's] eighth position and we think about being champions?"
Klopp declared that his team are "much better" at this stage of the current campaign than they were at the same time last season.
He also said that their league position is now "completely different" but declared that they will not "start really thinking" until the end of the season, and only then if they are still "there five match-days before the end" and are "only a few points" behind.
He said that if "anybody else" believed that Liverpool "need to be champions this year" going into the season then "maybe it's a little different" but said it is "fine" and they "are where we are."
Klopp refuted the idea that Liverpool could be annoyed by Chelsea's current advantage, insisting that he has been in "much more difficult situations" than "being second in a very, very difficult league" and so doesn't take too much notice their form.
He stated that while Liverpool are "happy" about their "way", they "have no influence" on what "the rest are doing" in the league until they play them again, adding: "We played them [Chelsea] not too long ago and we'll play them again. That's all we can do. I'm not annoyed. Not for a second"
Reds boss: We're really ambitious, you can't imagine
While Chelsea currently look unstoppable as they go in search of breaking Arsenal's record 14-game winning streak in the league, which they can equal when they face Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday, Liverpool are seemingly prepared to pounce at any signs of a slip-up.
Yet, so too are a number of other teams with Arsenal only three points behind Liverpool and Spurs and City only one point further behind the Gunners.
On the number of teams potentially in the title race, Klopp declared he doesn't think about it because when he was twice a champion in the Bundesliga he "started thinking about the opportunity [to win the league] really late."
He vowed that Liverpool "have targets" and "are really ambitious" which he said journalists and supporters "can't imagine" but said that they "saw it again" in the win over City.
Yet he warned: "But talking about something doesn't bring you one point. We have to work. If we see the final line and we are in and around [the top], the pressure will increase. But we had a game like this with big pressure on it. Not because we didn't want to lose, but because we wanted to win it."
Klopp declared that it was "really pressure against such a good side", suggesting that while Pep Guardiola's side have come in for "a lot of criticism" they play "some of the best football in the world" and adding: "You analyse them and you think ‘Oh my God, if I show that all, I don’t feel too good’ because they’re a really good side."
Klopp praised his team for the manner in which they kept City, a team littered with attacking talent, at bay but didn't go overboard as he said that he is "happy" about the club's "situation in the table at the moment" but said that they "don't care who is around" them.
Chelsea's run won't last forever, vows Klopp
Klopp was also asked if his side are now setting their sights on a title tilt, having won an impressive 13 of their 19 games so far this term - losing only twice.
He reiterated that they "can talk about it" if they "have the possibility" and "see the [finish] line" later in the season.
"Do we have to do something similar to Chelsea? That would help! If we win 14 games in a row, we can look again at how the table looks then - but life isn't like this," Klopp continued.
He said that Chelsea's run will not go on forever and said "of course they know it" but said that the Blues "are strong" and "don't think about their situation."
Klopp looked forward to the meeting between the two sides on Merseyside "in three or four weeks" when he said he will "think a lot about them", but "not before."