Jurgen Klopp insists last season ‘didn’t turn me crazy’ and wants Liverpool to demonstrate ‘resilience and a fighting spirit’ ahead of Community Shield showdown with title rivals Manchester City
- Jurgen Klopp says ‘Being angry is important to fight against the outside world’
- Liverpool face title rivals Manchester City in the Community Shield today
- Klopp’s team narrowly missed out on the Premier League title last season
Jurgen Klopp believes a siege mentality could help Liverpool find the extra edge he thinks they will need to overhaul Manchester City this season.
Klopp’s Liverpool team lost only two games last season in the Premier League but City still lifted the trophy after edging them out by a point.
With City adding England midfielder Kalvin Phillips and Norwegian superstar Erling Haaland this summer, Liverpool cannot expect standards to drop at the home of the champions.
And, asked what he can do to try to keep pace with Pep Guardiola’s team, Klopp said: ‘We had a big meeting where I told the boys what I expect from them this year.
‘I want to use the togetherness we have, the atmosphere we have in the team, the experience we made for better. That is how it is. We can grow closer together, we can be clearer in the things we do.
‘What happened last season didn’t turn me crazy and neither the players. Because it is part of the deal.
Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool must use last season’s frustrations to spur them on
‘But if there is anything we can do with it and if we can use it to get even more determined then let’s see. There is no guarantee for any kind of results.
‘Everybody wants to hurt us, to win against us, to get a point against us. That is completely normal so it will be really tough but we will give it a try anyway.
‘The things we do are good. Can we do it better? Yes.
‘Will that always lead to a better result? That is not possible because we won a lot of games but performance wise we can definitely improve and that is what we try.
‘We want to create a resilience and a fighting spirit. Being angry is important to fight against the outside world in this specific moment.
‘All these things we can do. We don’t know where it will lead us but we know it will improve us.’
Having lost Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich over the summer, Liverpool’s own big signing has been the Uruguayan striker Darwin Nunez from Benfica.
Darwin Nunez is expected to make his first competitive start in Saturday’s Community Shield
Klopp admitted ahead of today’s Community Shield against City at Leicester’s King Power Stadium that Liverpool are still getting to know their new forward — but predicted that City may experience similar teething issued with Haaland.
‘They are not used to Erling’s natural runs, just as we are not used to Darwin’s natural runs yet,’ said Klopp. ‘When Darwin offers a run we give him the ball all the time, which is not helpful because often a guy who stretches the opponent is there to create space between the lines, these kind of things.
‘I am pretty sure they will need time for Erling but that doesn’t mean he cannot score already like he did it in the first game he played for them against Bayern.
‘Most of the City things look like last year. How they set up the press, how flexible they are in their own possession. It is good. It’s very, very good but so far no real change is obvious.
Liverpool missed out on the Premier League title last year despite losing just twice
‘For us we want to be the team no one wants to play against. But we have to have more consistency and then when we have the ball, we have to create new ways.
‘Not invent ourselves new, that is not necessary, but include new things here and there. That is what we were really working on.’
Klopp said on Thursday that he believes pre-season has been too short after Liverpool’s participation in the Champions League final in Paris against Real Madrid on May 28.
With that in mind, Liverpool will play a behind-closed-doors practice game the day after their Premier League opener at Fulham next weekend.
‘We did this last year as well,’ he said. ‘We have to extend our pre-season into the season but most of the teams will do that.
‘I have no time today to go that deep into it. If you ask me that question, I look like the only moaner or the lonely moaner in the corner talking about what players have to do.
‘I think we all agree but I am the only one who is talking about it. I don’t read newspapers but not enough people talk about it. Pre-season is generally too short and that is why we extend it into the season.
‘That doesn’t help for the first games but it helps for the long term and that is the idea.’