Klopp not obsessed with leaving storied Reds legacy

Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp looks on before the English Premier League football match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on March 3, 2019.
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp looks on before the English Premier League football match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on March 3, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON • Jurgen Klopp has said he is only interested in being judged by God and not the trophies he wins as Liverpool manager.

The Reds remain in pursuit of the Premier League title and the Champions League, where they face Porto in the quarter-finals, as they look to land the first trophy of his tenure.

While the German felt Wednesday's Champions League last-16 victory at Bayern Munich had put the club back on the map of world football, being part of that rise, and not personal glory, was the only job satisfaction he needed.

Dismissing the idea that his reign will be measured on silverware alone, he said at his pre-match press conference yesterday: "You can't imagine how little I'm interested in that.

"I never thought about myself in that way. My job is to do everything I can to help the team be as successful as possible. I'm not searching to be remembered in 50 years.

"For me, it's no pressure, only opportunity. I love what I do, I have a fantastic team out there, and that's all that I need to be a happy person.

FOCUS ON US, NOT THEM

Just play that game (at Fulham) and stay in the same mood like we always are - confident but greedy, aggressive, direct, all what you need in a football game. Stay in that mood and everything will be fine. Whether City have a game in hand, it's not that important.

JURGEN KLOPP, Liverpool manager, egging his team on against relegation-threatened Fulham.

"I respect a lot the desire of all the people and the players, and I can be really part of that, I can be part of that dream. But it's not for me at the end, it's for the people. I am not interested in who judges me. What other people say about me, I couldn't be less interested."

Despite having reached the Champions League final last term, Klopp felt the Bayern win was "a big step" in his side's development, although he urged his players to stay "completely concentrated on Fulham" ahead of their Premier League trip to Craven Cottage tomorrow.

A win will give Liverpool a two-point lead at the top of the table, with Manchester City not playing in the league owing to their FA Cup last-eight tie at Swansea.

He added: "Now don't think about what happens afterwards or whatever. Just play that game (at Fulham) and stay in the same mood like we always are - confident but greedy, aggressive, direct, all what you need in a football game.

"Stay in that mood and everything will be fine. Whether City have a game in hand, it's not that important. We just want to win our game at the weekend... we need to think about winning our games only."

"We haven't struggled psychologically with them ahead of us or us ahead of them, it's (about) being really focused on the football game. Until the end of the season, let's play football."

Although the Cottagers, 13 points from safety, are expected to pose little danger to Klopp's team, he will have to shuffle his midfield around with an ankle injury ruling out skipper Jordan Henderson, while Naby Keita will undergo a late fitness test having missed the Bayern game.

REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 16, 2019, with the headline 'Klopp not obsessed with leaving storied Reds legacy'. Print Edition | Subscribe