Jürgen Klopp: Liverpool won't under-estimate Sunderland, the points are far from won yet

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp insists his side won't under-estimate Sunderland when they visit Anfield on Saturday afternoon, declaring that his team "couldn't be further away from having the points already."

Jürgen Klopp: Liverpool won't under-estimate Sunderland, the points are far from won yet
(Picture: Getty Images - Andrew Powell)

Jürgen Klopp says Liverpool will not under-estimate visitors Sunderland on Saturday afternoon, but challenged his side to show that coming to Anfield is "different" to other grounds.

The Black Cats come to Merseyside off the back of consecutive Premier League wins, having gone without victory in their opening 10 games before that.

As such, Klopp insists his side will treat Sunderland with respect given their recent form, but insists the Reds - who sit second in the table having gone 10 games unbeaten - cannot allow them the courtesy of leaving Anfield with any points.

Reds boss wary of complacency against Sunderland 

Klopp grew increasingly frustrated with the line of questioning at his pre-match press conference, many focusing on the announcement of Steven Gerrard's retirement hours earlier, saying: "It's really hard for you to ask about the Sunderland game before everything else seems to be more interesting."

The Reds boss felt that journalists were acting as if "the points have already been counted" but added: "We couldn't be further away from having the points already.

"We won't under-estimate Sunderland, 100 per-cent. If one person in the stadium under-estimates them, that would be the first mistake."

He declared that "everything is prepared for a good football game", if his side "do our job" which he believes "will be a difficult one." He said that they "have to do the good things again" and "the not-so-good things in a different way."

But regardless, Klopp is in no mood to see his side help Sunderland to lift themselves out of the relegation zone.

He said that he and his backroom staff have seen the last few games of David Moyes' side, insisting that Sunderland "maybe played better games than against Hull or Bournemouth" but "won the games."

Klopp insisted that the away side's back-to-back wins are "the most important thing" in order "to get confidence", which Klopp believes they "have now."

But he continued: "It's our job to show from the first second as a big group, crowd involved, that we are different. Here, it's different. Sunderland, if they win football games in the Premier League, well done, deserved, whatever. But not here."

Klopp said that is what his side "have to show" but warned that it "will not be easy" and in fact "the exact opposite of easy." He told journalists that he "really, really hopes" that his "team is ready for it" and that "the whole crowd is ready for it too."

Klopp: Black Cats never comprehensively beaten

The German revealed that Liverpool must be wary of Sunderland's front-two Jermain Defoe and Victor Anichebe - who fired the goals in their 3-0 win over Hull.

He joked that with Moyes and co. having "took six points out of their last two games" while they "only got four", then "they are the favourite for this game."

Klopp said that he "watched a lot of their games" and that "even when they lost games earlier in the season" it was "never a clear result" and that they "were really unlucky" - losing "2-1, 1-0, 94th minute" and "things like this."

The manager told journalists that Sunderland are "one of the better teams at making high intensity sprints" and that "they don't have the highest amount of possession, which shows they are a counter-attacking team."

Klopp, also acknowledging the North East outfit's strength "from set-pieces", declared: "Anichebe is physically a strong guy and everyone knows everything about Defoe. He's experienced, still quick and a really good striker."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We must prepare for packed defences says Klopp

And Klopp was also defiant that Liverpool's goalless draw with Southampton a week ago wasn't a step back, having won seven of their previous eight before that.

Chelsea's win at Middlesbrough the next day demoted the Reds to second - though he again insisted that the league table doesn't matter at this stage of the season.

He said that anyone "disappointed" about not being first is "crazy" because "nothing has happened until now" and that he was "really happy" with "the attitude and lots of parts of the performance" against the Saints. 

While Liverpool failed to score, Klopp insisted that it was "a good sign" that they created 20 chances and had "four or five really big ones" because "a game there is not a game" usually like that. 

But he added that the Southampton result is "not important any more" despite the "not too nice" result, because their game against Sunderland "will be completely different." 

Klopp said that prior to their visit to Southampton, his team "looked like we were in a flow" because "everything worked" and "we clicked here and there."

He praised his team for remaining in the game after failing to break the deadlock, hailing them for being "really ready" for "the work we had to do."

Klopp suggested that "the funny thing" to come from the Southampton draw is that "the discussions has started again" about Liverpool's 'struggles' against "parking the bus teams", but insisted that "Southampton weren't a parking the bus team" and rather "a team we forced we to defend deeper."

He declared that if his team "want to keep this position" in the table, or even "make it better", then Liverpool "need to improve 100 per-cent" and vowed: "There's a lot of space for us to do that.

"We have everything we need to be prepared. I am excited about having the opportunity again to show that we are still in good shape."