Jürgen Klopp: Liverpool's next few games are decisive, but we're close to a lot of good things in our position

Jürgen Klopp: Liverpool's next few games are decisive, but we're close to a lot of good things in our position

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp is confident his team are on the verge of success, given the platform they have given themselves for the second-half of the season, despite admitting his side's next four games are "decisive" for their season.

Charlie Malam

Jürgen Klopp is well aware of how important the next 10 days are in the context of Liverpool's season but says the club are in the position they want to be in at this stage.

The Reds face four consecutive fixtures at Anfield across all three competitions in which they are competing this season, starting by hosting Swansea City in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

After that, Liverpool play host to Southampton looking to overturn a 1-0 deficit in their EFL Cup semi-final second leg - followed by an FA Cup fourth round clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers and then a mouthwatering league contest with Chelsea the following Tuesday.

It marks a crucial run, by the end of which Klopp's charges could find themselves out of both cup competitions and behind league leaders Chelsea by 10 points.

But though it is such a pivotal run for Liverpool, Klopp believes the club must channel the pressure and importance for good in order to build on a campaign which he says has surpassed their expectations.

Reds boss: We have done a really good job until now

Previewing the clash with the Swans, Klopp said that fixtures on home soil "always feel different" and "even in preparation" because "it is really special" and it is "easy to look forward" to playing at Anfield as he spoke to reporters on Friday.

The German acknowledged that he and his team "know about our responsibility" and added: "The only thing I want is that, as a club, we really enjoy this situation because I think it's better than we could have expected last summer."

He says it has gone above and beyond not because of the quality Liverpool have shown, which he hinted that he expected regardless, but "because of the strength of the league and the financial power of some of the opponents."

He believes the club and the supporters "have done a really good job" until now and accepted that it is "very decisive in a moment like this."

Yet Klopp vowed that the club's fans cannot afford to think about previous setbacks, adding that they "can't start thinking 'Yes, we are close but we were also close in 2008 or whenever, and in the end it slipped through our fingers'."

He called that negative mentality "the wrong way to think" and said Liverpool "are where we want to be" because they are "close enough to do a lot of good things" but not in a position for anyone "to expect we should be champion or something."

"We want to be in the Champions League of course and that is possible. Not sure, but possible, and that is a positive thing, so stay positive," Klopp told in a message to Liverpool fans.

He said that they must enjoy the side's football and "still believe in the future" because this team "shows a lot in the moment" but "also a lot of potential for the future" because of their age and "the time we have spent together."

Klopp feels that it is "so positive" that Liverpool's situation "really allows us to dream" but said that "the reality" is that they must continue going about their season by focusing on each individual game, which is "the job" they "have to do" and one which would mean "the base" for the club "is good." 

'We know that we can't afford to drop points often'

With 10 of Liverpool's final 17 league games of the campaign on home soil, there is good reason for the club to be confident in the final few months - given they haven't lost on L4 for over 12 months. 

They are seven points off of front-runners Chelsea, who have won 14 of their last 15 league outings, and Klopp is aware that home form is important - but says there can be no more slip-ups.

He said that Liverpool "need to be around" the top few clubs by "the last five or six games" and then to "go for it." 

Klopp revealed that he is well aware of "what supporters are doing" and saying because his two supporters follow the club, but added that he has "no idea" about the other teams playing because he is "not interested."

Instead, he believes Liverpool "have to win your games and then see what happens around" them in the league table - adding: "Of course, you all play against each other, we have to play all the other teams at the top and when can you win, when can you lose? Actually, you can lose nowhere, to stay where we are."

Klopp noted that Liverpool have "lost two Premier League games" and says "that is not a lot", but insisted that they "are only third" and referred to "a really strong leading group in this league" which makes it "close" and "exciting."

The Reds boss believes that if Liverpool were in the title race with "five games to go" then they would need 15 points or else would "have no chance", but said that "there are a lot of games to go" yet.

"Maybe you don't need maximum points but you should not give a lot of points away to stay up there, we know about this," admitted Klopp.

On Liverpool's results at home, he added: "Home form is always decisive. You don't get teams at the top of the league with a bad home record. Of course, it should be an advantage, but how big? We will have to see."

Rotation will be necessary to navigate through our fixture schedule, admits Klopp 

Liverpool's fixture schedule has been as testing as any other top-flight team's runs over the past few months, and Klopp alluded to having to rotate regularly in order to maintain his side's strong league record.

He said that they "have some difficult things" with their fixture list, insisting that they are "still involved in the League Cup" so "play Wednesday next week and then Saturday at 12:30pm [vs Wolves]."

Klopp believes this means that "nobody is too interested in our situation" and acknowledged he will have to "mix line-ups as much as possible" because they play the Tuesday after that against Chelsea.

"Is it really possible? I don't know, we will see but we will use everybody who can be involved," he vowed, calling the Plymouth replay "very important really" after he made nine changes.

He said that Sheyi Ojo coming on off the bench "was good" while praised debutant Harry Wilson for playing "very good" and making "a very important step" and showing "good signs" in his cameo.

Klopp also felt that 17-year-old Ben Woodburn "was outstanding all game" with his performance "in different positions" with "smart play."

He also said that he doesn't know when Trent Alexander-Arnold "last played two 90 minutes back-to-back in four days" after he also enjoyed his first league start against Manchester United last Sunday.

As a result, Klopp felt that Liverpool have had "important signs" from recent games and mentioned a phrase that James Milner has taught him recently, calling for the club to "dig in" over the coming months.