Thursday 23 March 2017

Klopp: We must take courage from Anfield crowd

Klopp: 'It’s always about being brave, especially against such a high quality team. It’s really important to have your own moments'. Photo: Getty
Klopp: 'It’s always about being brave, especially against such a high quality team. It’s really important to have your own moments'. Photo: Getty

Chris Bascombe

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has called for a potent combination of bravery and raucousness to help his side past Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League at Anfield tonight.

There was a familiar rallying cry to the Kop ahead of a potential epic European night, accompanied by the more pertinent challenge to his players to raise their game against his former club. A 1-1 draw in the away leg of the quarter-final has transformed expectations on Merseyside.

"We had a few wonderful atmospheres since I came but the best was the first leg versus Manchester United and this is the level we have to jump to," said Klopp.

"But I don't like the atmosphere when the team is not part of it. We have to show we are ready and that we know what it is about. The atmosphere can be the biggest difference but the crowd is more of an advantage if we play well."

Liverpool fans are intending to line the streets around Anfield to welcome their side tonight - mirroring what happened two years ago when they went close to the Premier League title.

If Klopp arrived at the club in October finding a fan base in a state of disillusionment, he will be reassured the process of revival is already yielding results. Now it is for his side to ensure the momentum is maintained.

"It's always about being brave, especially against such a high-quality team. It's really important to have your own moments," said Klopp (below). "We know each other better and how we work. We have developed a belief. A large part of that is because of the consistency. A lot of teams would rather have played us four months ago than now.

"Each step we did in the last few weeks has given us confidence. Only the second half against Southampton was a step in the wrong direction. In the other games we were consistent and a higher level than before, believing in things and seeing how they work in a game."

Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel vowed to "take risks and attack" tonight.

Klopp thought both sides are capable of a higher level than the first leg. "I don't think we went to the limit of our performance - and Dortmund didn't - but they are having a great season," he said.

"Perhaps they can play better but so can we. We have to."

Liverpool v Dortmund , Live, BT Sport 1, Setanta Ire, 8.05

Telegraph.co.uk

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