Tuesday 21 November 2017

Klopp insists he's not under pressure to end trophy drought

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Photo: PA Wire
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Photo: PA Wire

Samuel Lovett

Jurgen Klopp has insisted he does not feel the pressure to win trophies at Liverpool, remarking that he sees "opportunity" instead.

Since replacing Brendan Rodgers in October of 2015, the German (above) has taken Liverpool to the final of the 2016 Europa League, which they lost 3-1 to Sevilla, as well as the semi-finals of last season's League Cup, where they were beaten 2-0 by Southampton across two legs.

Their last major trophy came in 2006, after beating West Ham on penalties in the FA Cup final at Wembley, and it's been 27 years since the side won a top-flight league title.

But, although the search for silverware continues to haunt the club, Klopp does not believe his players are burdened with pressure to win a trophy as they prepare to get this season's League Cup campaign under way away to Leicester tonight.

"Importance is same as ever. 100 per cent focus on that game," he said. "Big competition - I don't care how people see it.

Strong

"I'm not sure if there is pressure on us. I don't feel pressure; I feel opportunity, the chance to do something really good. I have pressure, but it cannot be bigger than the pressure I put on myself."

Nonetheless, the 50-year-old admitted that he is not happy with Liverpool's situation following their recent run of poor results.

"We know we are strong, and that we need to deliver. That's what we need to work on," he said.

Klopp confirmed that he would be making a number of changes to his side for tonight's match.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who moved to Anfield on transfer deadline day, will make his first start for the club and is set to be joined in the team by third-choice goalkeeper Danny Ward and fellow midfielder Marko Grujic.

The England international has played only 57 minutes in three substitute appearances since his £35m deadline-day move from Arsenal.

"It is a fantastic opportunity for Alex because since he has been in it has been difficult to train on different things because of game after game after game," said Klopp.

"He had a wonderful impact when he came on in the last game (Saturday's 1-1 draw v Burnley) so it was very good for him." (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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