Friday 20 September 2019

'Nobody should feel safe' - Jurgen Klopp says title race is still wide open after wild weekend

Jurgen Klopp (Peter Byrne/PA)
Jurgen Klopp (Peter Byrne/PA)

Carl Markham

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists no-one can feel safe in the Premier League title race - even with a four-point lead at Christmas.

Klopp's unbeaten side top the table with Manchester City in second and Tottenham six points off the pace in third.

But the German knows nothing can be taken for granted, especially after watching Spurs' 6-2 demolition of Everton on Sunday.

"You (the media) make these stories about who is in and who is out," said Klopp.

"I saw the game against Everton who played absolutely more than OK and then they (Spurs) hit pretty much everything and it was really impressive how Tottenham did.

"The same will happen to Arsenal and Chelsea. No decision is made, why should it be? Nobody should feel safe, no-one should feel out of the race. It is not a time to think about it.

"For me they (Tottenham) were never out so why should people be surprised they are now in? A lot of teams are in whatever you call the title race and that is how it should be.

"That is maybe only the difference to last year when pretty much nobody was in any more at this time and that is good for all supporters out there.

"Being unbeaten in the league until December is not something I had too often in my life. We did really well so far, and we have to do even better from now on. That's the challenge for us."

In the previous 10 years only twice has the team top on December 25 not gone on to win the title. On both occasions it was Liverpool, in 2008 and 2014.

Of his current squad only James Milner has experience of winning a title, with Manchester City in 2012 and 2014, but Klopp believes his players have already displayed the sort of character needed to remain in the race.

"I know that all players who have won the title at one time it was their first time," said Klopp, who won the Bundesliga title with Borussia Dortmund in 2011 and 2012.

"You don't know what is more important, is it experience, potential, attitude, desire or joy, being completely fresh having never had it before? You absolutely don't know and it's not important.

"Experience is always good if you are young enough to use it. We have to use all experience from the last games, especially from the last season, and that's much more important.

"Character is always very important but these boys there is no doubt about that because we achieved already in the past big things: finals, good positions in the league.

"We did that altogether and so far we only did steps together and that's what we have to do further on."

Klopp confirmed defender Trent Alexander-Arnold is back in training after a foot injury and is expected to return for the Boxing Day match at home to Newcastle.

However, even though he has centre-backs Joe Gomez (fractured leg) and Joel Matip (broken collarbone) out for another three to four weeks, he does not expect to buy players in January.

"Very happy with what I've got, but we don't know," he said.

"The only little bit why I keep the door open is because if something happens then we need to have a look.

"There is a monstrous number of games coming, but as long as we can react then it's all good.

"But if something dramatically changes then we need to have a look. If nothing happens then I would say we will not do anything."

PA Media

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