Bang on target: Manager Jurgen Klopp claims Liverpool are on course to fulfil trophy pledge
- Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool are on track to fulfil his pledge for a trophy
- When he was appointed Klopp said he aimed to win a trophy in four years
- Liverpool in contention to win the Premier League and the Champions League
Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool have never been better placed to fulfil his first-day promise, but warned they must still work to be the complete team.
When Klopp was unveiled as Brendan Rodgers’ successor in October 2015, he said: ‘If we sit here in four years, I think we win one title,’ and joked he would end up in Switzerland if that did not come true.
It has taken Liverpool three years to launch a proper assault for the Premier League and with four matches to play, they have put reigning champions Manchester City under pressure which nobody foresaw at the beginning of the campaign.
Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool are ready to fulfil his pledge of winning a trophy
Liverpool, who are also in the Champions League semi-finals against Barcelona, have everything to gain in the next few weeks but, equally, one slip and they risk ending up with nothing.
It is an intense situation but one that Klopp believes is bringing the best from his players.
‘People reminded me when I came here and signed a four-year contract that in four years we probably would have won something,’ said the German, who renegotiated his contract in July 2016 so that it now expires in 2022.
Liverpool remain in contention to win the Premier League and the Champions League
‘It didn’t happen yet. Look, both sides — the club and myself — have a wonderful commitment that we really try everything to make the club as successful as possible.
‘How long it will take, I have no clue. The position we are now in I am really happy with.
‘It is not the final position we want to be, but the awareness from outside of the club of where we are — second (consecutive) time in a Champions League semi-final — is really special.
MARTIN KEOWN: SMART JORDAN HENDERSON HAS TIMED HIS RUN PERFECTLY
It turns out the reason Jordan Henderson is being used further forward for Liverpool comes from a conversation he had with his manager.
The England midfielder felt brave enough to suggest it to Jurgen Klopp, who said he would think about it. Now, his boss is backing him.
I’ve watched Henderson closely and the 28-year-old is clever in the way he picks his moments to arrive in the box. If he continues to be used in that position, he will start to score important goals for Liverpool.
This is not entirely new for Henderson. He’s been used as a box-to-box midfielder before. It suits his energy and he clearly enjoys it.
Fabinho looks like he is making that spot in the centre of Liverpool’s midfield his own. There is good competition with Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner and Naby Keita, too.
Showing he can be used in a different way adds a string to Henderson’s bow.
‘So many teams tried to get that this year again and it did not happen.
‘You need luck in some moments. We needed it. Before Napoli (the final group stage game) who would have thought we would be in the semis again? It is not where we want to be at the end.
‘We want to improve. Our problem is the other teams do not sleep and make good decisions as well.’
Cardiff will present a stubborn test on Sunday but manager Neil Warnock is fearful that if Liverpool click and maintain the form they have shown over the last four matches, then it could be a long and difficult afternoon.
‘We just want to give a good performance and not get a battering,’ said Warnock. ‘We can work all week, but if we freeze and make a mistake early on we may as well go home. They will just pick you off. That’s what you get with quality players.
‘When you realise our wage bill is £11million less than what they spent on agents’ fees (£44m), I think it puts it in perspective what we’re up against.’
Klopp, meanwhile, voiced his dismay at the fact Liverpool’s fans are being charged £103 for semi-final tickets in Barcelona.
Liverpool are subsidising the tickets by £27 by making Barcelona’s fans pay the same price for the return leg, but it has left a sour taste.
Klopp hit out at fact Liverpool fans are being charged £103 for semi-final tickets in Barcelona
‘As a club we thought about what we can do but, wow, that is really a big price,’ said Klopp.
‘There is nothing good to say about it. We played three times in the last four years pretty much to the last (European) matchday. That was intense mentally and financially.
‘Altogether we made some pretty good experiences and hopefully it was worth it.
‘But a semi-final, Liverpool versus Barcelona, it was pretty clear they don’t make presents. That’s big money for Barca.’
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