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'We are never going to stop' - Jurgen Klopp issues warning to rivals as title win sinks in

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Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp

REUTERS

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp issued a stark warning to rivals trying to close the gap on the new Premier League champions next season, pledging: "We are never going to stop."

The mission to end a 30-year title wait complete, Liverpool's immediate target is going beyond 100 points for the campaign and being remembered as the greatest of all championship winners.

Then they will set their sights on equalling Manchester United's 20 English championships, with Klopp intent on going beyond that during his already glorious Kop reign.

As his squad lined up to emphasise their thirst for more silverware, the manager promised there would be no let-up in the pursuit of Premier League and Champions League honours.

"We have to - and we will - stay focused," Klopp said. "We will not stop. We see the opportunity. We will not stop doesn't mean that we will win everything. We just want to improve. We have a common idea and a common dream. We have big dreams and we always had them. That does not mean we can confirm them, but we should give them a proper try and that is what we did since we were here together. The more people dream, the stronger it gets."

Like many of his players, Klopp spent much of the Covid-19 lockdown enthralled by The Last Dance documentary chronicling the dominance of Chicago Bulls in the era of basketball icon Michael Jordan. Jordan's obsession for titles led to "three-peat" NBA titles at the start and end of the 1990s, and there is no doubt Klopp will seek to preserve the same appetite in his squad.

That is why he is not planning any major signings this summer, believing he has the players capable of retaining their current levels.

"Without the players buying into this kind of philosophy we have no chance. So, yes, we will not stop," he said.

"We have to show that on the pitch, obviously. It is possible to show you can do this even longer. Not one year, or two years, but if you really want to go into detail you can see we have done this for three or four years.

"We tried. It did not work out always, but the intensity level was there and it was just not as successful. Now the mix is really good. The boys are in a good age group, more confident and all that stuff and we should use it as long as we can. The other teams are really good already and will be better. Manchester City are exceptional. I cannot promise that we win something, but I can promise that we try to improve. That's possible.

"The consistency is difficult to improve. If we could keep that level of consistency that would be really good. Even the games we lost, we were not bad."

Liverpool will not get their hands on the Premier League trophy until their final home game against Chelsea on July 18, after which socially distanced celebrations will be organised by the city council. A bus tour of the city will have to wait.

"If it was safe to have a parade today, I would drive the bus myself," said Joe Anderson, the Liverpool mayor.

Much of the adulation is directed at the transformative presence of Klopp, with former captain Steven Gerrard suggesting the coach already deserves a statue alongside that of Bill Shankly. Klopp shrugged off comparisons to managerial legends Shankly, Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and Kenny Dalglish, although he is now in their company as an Anfield title winner.

"Honestly, we don't have to compare me with these iconic figures," he said. "I don't know how long Bill Shankly was at the club exactly, but what he did and where he picked the club from in the Second Division and stuff like this.

"Then Bob was his assistant and took over and won pretty much everything. Kenny obviously played for this club, became the manager, player-manager, then was immediately successful as a manager, which is incredible.

"From my point of view, there is no comparison possible. I'm here for four-and-a-half years, I came from Germany to try to do my job.

"I love the city, love the club, yes that's true. There's no comparison possible and especially not needed. I feel very close to this city.

"From the first day I clicked with the people. They welcomed me and wanted to give us time. I love the way they love life in the city of Liverpool, I love the way they want to be different. They are different. I love the Scouse soul."

Klopp was emotional on Thursday night after Manchester City had lost 2-1 against Chelsea to seal the title, and he said he allowed his family to share the moment as best he could as the team celebrated in Formby Hall, a few miles from his Merseyside home.

"I called my family 10 seconds before the final whistle," he said. "We had a FaceTime call. I told them I love them, they told me they love me.

"We cannot be together and that is not nice, but that's how it is, but then I put the phone on the table and said 'Leave it on, because in four or five seconds something special can happen'.

"They watched the game and knew it obviously. That was a really nice moment." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk