We deserve more love for strong start: Klopp

LONDON • Jurgen Klopp insists that Liverpool's season should not be judged solely on winning the Premier League and feels his team deserve more credit for their strong start than has been bestowed.

The Reds have won eight of their 11 matches in an unbeaten opening to the league campaign.

They can equal their highest points tally (30) after 12 games of a Premier League season by beating Fulham at home today.

Another clean sheet would also deliver the lowest tally of goals conceded - five - at the same stage.

"The season so far, points-wise, has been really successful," said Klopp.

"But it doesn't feel like that because of two reasons in comparison with last year: (the lack of) free-flowing football in a few games; and Man City, Chelsea and a few others playing (very well).

"It feels like this season can only be a success if we become champions. Our competitors are last year's champions, the champions two years ago, a refreshed Arsenal and a more experienced Tottenham and Manchester United.

"That's a really tough job but we have no problem with that, we go for everything. We have to build on our situation and get better."

City and Chelsea are also unbeaten in the league and have been more widely praised for their performances, while Liverpool have drawn flak for erratic displays domestically and in Europe.

A shock Champions League loss at Red Star Belgrade in midweek was especially notable, but Klopp feels the doubters are wrong to question his team.

"We had a bad game and we never ignore that. We don't want to lose and you always have to show a reaction after a defeat," he added.

"Now we have to react the right way, both (today) and in general."

Fulham head to Anfield bottom of the table after five straight losses, but Klopp bristled at suggestions the Reds will have an easy time.

"I would really be an idiot if I would talk about any goal difference before the game," he said.

"You'll never score against a team like Fulham if you go into the game with the wrong attitude and (just) think about scoring. This game is a big challenge for all of us."

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LIVERPOOL V FULHAM
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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 11, 2018, with the headline 'We deserve more love for strong start: Klopp'. Print Edition | Subscribe