Saturday 29 April 2017

Jurgen Klopp vows to make Anfield a fortress: 'I'm honoured and proud I can use it'

The new stand at Anfield was officially opened yesterday in the presence of, left, Liverpool
manager Jurgen Klopp and owner John W Henry Photo by Barrington Coombs/Getty Images
The new stand at Anfield was officially opened yesterday in the presence of, left, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and owner John W Henry Photo by Barrington Coombs/Getty Images

Chris Bascombe

On the day Liverpool celebrated historic restoration off the pitch, manager Jurgen Klopp issued a timely reminder of his team's need to match the splendour of their new surroundings on it.

The £115m Main Stand, given its ceremonial opening yesterday, makes its match-day debut for today's visit of Premier League champions Leicester.

Klopp described himself a "lucky b*******" to be benefiting from a swelling attendance, but for all the talk of a re-inforced Anfield there is a worrying trend to reverse. Liverpool have won less than 50pc of their Premier League home games in the last two seasons - a mere 18 from 38.

"We have to deliver. That's what we have to do," said Klopp. "It's all about the last five or six per cent in a game. The players are all motivated, they're all good, they're all skilled, they're all everything. How can you bring in the last five per cent? Attitude, character, mentality. That's the crowd, that's noise. That's togetherness. This stadium was never an excuse, and it's not now.

"Everybody's spoken about it over the last 20 to 30 years, changing something, but it's not too easy because of the surroundings.

"I come here and it's already done. I'm honoured and proud I can use it now. It's unbelievable. Lucky b*******. So now, fill it with life. That's my responsibility.

"It's good. It's close. It's big. I love it. I tested the acoustics by shouting in training, and it was pretty good. It's really massive and really impressive. More is better. Then we are better."

Anfield's new stand sees the additional 8,500 seats lift the capacity to 54,000. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Liverpool v Leicester, Live Sky Sports 1, 5.30pm

Telegraph.co.uk

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