Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool are not finished and will turn up the heat next season
The Premier League champions are looking to sign off with another victory and reach 99 points.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp wants his Premier League champions to be even more uncomfortable to play against next season.
Prior to March’s lockdown the Reds had taken 82 points – more than second-placed Manchester City will reach if they win on Sunday – from 29 matches with just one defeat and one draw to virtually guarantee a first title in 30 years.
Wednesday’s 5-3 victory over Chelsea made it three seasons unbeaten at home in the league, but as they head into their final match of the campaign at Newcastle with an 18-point gap at the top, Klopp is expecting more from his players.
“We will not change: we try to improve. Is is possible to improve it for a longer period? I would say yes,” he said.
“We make a cut when the season is finished on Sunday, enjoy it, be happy, and then mid-August we start training again and from that moment on we will try it again with all we have and nothing will hold us back.
“It is a really nice story the boys have written over the years but it is not finished yet – we decide when it is finished.
“I want to see us fighting for whatever the next trophy is, fighting on the pitch and enjoying the hard work and as long as we do that we have a good chance.
“First thing, as always, is to be a team no one wants to play against. I think we are like this but we can be more uncomfortable.”
Sunday will bring to a close 14 remarkable months which have seen Liverpool win the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup and Premier League.
Klopp admits last summer’s victory in Madrid over Tottenham, coming 12 months after losing the Champions League final to Real Madrid, was the turning point.
“That doesn’t make it easier but it gives you the proof that it is possible,” he added.
“As we all know, I am a specialist in coming second so that needs some mental strength to try it again and try it again and if you open the box of Pandora then that helps massively.
“I could see that when we won the Champions League last year made all the other things happen, plus the season we played before: 97 points and then we won the Champions League was really a special year.
“When you are that close you have to invest more and then get over the line and that is exactly what happened.
“We will stay greedy, we have to and we will. But if that then leads automatically to more trophies I don’t know because other teams have other reasons to make the next step and how we saw again on Wednesday night, the distance between us and Chelsea is not 30-odd points: that night it was two goals and a tricky moment when Pulisic missed the target.”
A 31st victory of the season on Wednesday lifted Liverpool’s points tally to 96, a number synonymous at the club with the Hillsborough tragedy in terms of how many fans lost their lives in the 1989 disaster.
While Klopp wants another win on Sunday he sounded as though he would not be too bothered if their season was to finish on 96.
“I don’t believe too much in coincidence in life, to be honest,” said the Reds boss.
“I think it was Trent (Alexander-Arnold, in an interview after the game) who saw the 96 points, and in that moment I felt it so massively that things came together.
“It cannot be a coincidence that we have 96 points on the night we get the trophy. It was really nice and made it really special. I hope all the families felt it the same way.”