Jurgen Klopp demands Liverpool focus on West Brom, not Europa League final
Published 13/05/2016 | 15:26
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has warned his players it makes no sense to think about the Europa League final ahead of their trip to West Brom on Sunday.
The Reds appear in their first European final for nine years when they face Sevilla in Basle on Wednesday but before then they have to complete their domestic programme at the Hawthorns.
However, Klopp has stressed he does not want to see anyone coasting or trying to protect themselves for next week.
"In these 90 minutes it makes no sense to think about anything else and that is what we have to learn," he said.
"If you want to be 100 per cent successful you have to be 100 per cent in the situation you are in at this moment.
"It is not about having 50 per cent or 30 per cent concentration for another thing, that is not how professional football works.
"If we can't do it in this moment then we have to learn to do it in the future but if we can't do it on Sunday then there is no chance to get anything at West Brom.
"It's very important because we can still move up two positions in the table. It's not in our hands but the only way to climb the table is to win the game at West Brom.
"In this moment Sunday afternoon is the most important game in the world."
Klopp is likely to rest a number of his first-choice players for the trip to the midlands and even those selected on Sunday, particularly someone like Joe Allen, may find it difficult to force their way into the team for the final.
The manager accepts he is going to have to upset some players but insists that is something that goes with the territory.
"When they started playing football they knew there was a number where the line-up ends, whether it's 11 or 18," he added.
"I don't want to disappoint anyone but I have to make decisions.
"I can do a lot of things in my job but I cannot do what everyone wants. It's all about LFC and finding the best line-up for the best performance.
"We all came to the final together so if you can't feel an important part of getting to the final, I can't change that.
"Hopefully I have to make a few difficult decisions because that will mean I have a lot of players involved in training and available."
Klopp could have even more decisions to make as there is an outside chance captain Jordan Henderson (knee) and striker Divock Origi (ankle) could be available after being out injured for a month.
There is also a chance striker Danny Ings, who has been sidelined since October after cruciate knee ligament surgery, could make the squad for West Brom as he is ineligible in Europe.
"There are three players who might come back. We have to see. I haven't made final decisions," said the German, who after Wednesday's match also hinted he could include youngster Sergi Canos against the Baggies after returning from a successful loan spell with Brentford.
"We will see about Danny Ings and if he's ready for West Brom.
"With Divock and Hendo, they are both in a good way. Hendo has done a bit more. We will see what happens over the coming days.
"In the end it's not my decision, I have to take what I get. They are pretty close.
"If the final was one week later now we'd be talking, but it will be close. We have to wait."