Driven Klopp promises there’s ‘still more to come’ from Liverpool
Manager unrelenting in his demands despite his side’s best-ever start by a top European club
Jurgen Klopp: “We go for the biggest prize. If we can get that by playing here a bit of football and there a bit of football that would not be interesting for me. You have to give your all and that’s what we do.” Photograph: John Walton/PA
Liverpool are undefeated in 38 league games and have a return of 61 points from a possible 63 since the beginning of the season, which represents the best ever start by a club in any of Europe’s top five divisions. Yet Jürgen Klopp believes there is “still more to come” from his team.
If that sounds ominous for the sides desperately holding on to Liverpool’s coattails in this most one-sided of title races – they lead Manchester City by 14 points and Leicester by 16 with a game in hand on both – for Klopp it is merely part of the continuing evolution of his players.
There is, he insists, no let-up in their pursuit to be the best they can be, or in their desire to give everything they have in every game, which was on show in Saturday’s 1-0 victory at Tottenham as the visitors played with a relentlessness that José Mourinho conceded his players could not cope with or match.
“That’s our job,” said Klopp. “We go for the biggest prize. If we can get that by playing here a bit of football and there a bit of football that would not be interesting for me. You have to give your all and that’s what we do.
“I said to the boys that they looked a little bit too exhausted in this game, but we are humans and humans are weak. But later we are sat in the dressing room and everybody was still alive and still breathing, so there is still more to come and that is what we have to ask of ourselves.”
That is a sentiment shared by the captain, Jordan Henderson, who after the win against Spurs described Liverpool as a team that are “still developing and still learning”, while from Andy Robertson came the insistence that no one within the squad is presuming they will definitely end Liverpool’s 30-year wait for a league championship this season.
“This league is so hard,” said the left-back.
“Maybe we’ve made it look easy but it’s not – it’s so hard to perform against every team that wants to beat you. The longer the run goes on, the more everyone wants to beat you.”
The next team seeking to beat Liverpool are their most bitter rivals. Manchester United visit Anfield on Sunday as the only side to have taken points off the leaders this season, having drawn 1-1 with them at Old Trafford in -October.
Yet few expect them to do so again and especially as Liverpool could be bolstered by the return of Fabinho. The influential Brazilian midfielder has been out since November with ankle ligament damage but was back training last week and could make his return to action at the weekend.
“My ankle is better,” Fabinho told the French TV programme Téléfoot. “I am touching the ball again, I feel good and I feel confident.”
Asked if Liverpool were going to win the title, the player also broke the party line by simply replying: “Yes”. That may not go down well with his manager and team-mates back on Merseyside but ultimately Fabinho said what most people are thinking. Liverpool appear unstoppable.