If Liverpool beat Newcastle United they will end the first half of the season undefeated in the Premier League. If they beat beat Newcastle United today they will end the first half of the season top of the table and at least four clear of Manchester City.
No matter what happens, though, today and in the coming weeks, it’s been a ride to get to this point and manager Jürgen Klopp says that rather than worrying about next week or the week after the fans should be trying to enjoy it, here, in the moment.
“Nobody here is used to dealing with the success of Liverpool but a lot of people feel for this club,” he said. “If you want to have guarantees, go for another sport. If you want to be sure that in May it will be something really special then take a holiday.
“I don’t know where the Premier League is not broadcast but find a little country where it is not and go there. But if you want to enjoy the ride, want to try everything you can to be as successful as possible, then welcome, let’s go for it. That is all we can do.”
It’s a worthwhile message, and many Liverpool fans can be a little eager to embrace the negative—it’s only natural, perhaps, given how long it’s been since they ended a season top of the league and what’s happened the other times they’ve been close.
Whatever happens today or next week or next month, this is a good side, one that fully deserves to be where they are in the table—and one that’s built for success beyond just the current football season. Try to enjoy that, rather than obsessing over the table.
“There is pressure because we want to win against Newcastle and that is difficult enough,” he added. “If I saw someone in a pre-match interview asking a player about May and stuff like that, I would take the mic and throw it somewhere because that is not fair.
“We have to play football, not think about what we can do in the summer. If we lose a game one day then everybody immediately starts saying we showed we cannot deal with the pressure but there are still 17 games to go or whatever.
“There is no extra pressure on us because of a four-point gap. Nothing is taken for granted. We have to be focused. We all have to be. Not nervous.”