At the end of November, Liverpool were the favourites of many to win the league. It was an overachievement based on pre-season expectations, but regardless of that, that they were so placed made their collapse over the next two months difficult to accept.
Now, again, the goal is the top four. The title is gone, and even pundits—those whose job it is to insist the race is on—are saying it probably isn’t. For Jürgen Klopp, the goal is to quickly move past any disappointment and focus on the success that is still possible.
“You all know better than me about the club and what has happened to it in recent years,” he noted at his pre-match press conference today ahead of Liverpool’s date with Hull City on Saturday. “When we started here everyone hoped for change immediately.
“We have improved, but the other teams also do not stop. I am 100% convinced this club has the power to be outstanding but we must keep our nerve. We still have a job to do and the day is not long enough for everything but we are not too bad, so let’s go for it.”
Despite Liverpool’s slumping form, they still find themselves in the thick of the top four race and no worse off than Arsenal, Tottenham, or Manchester City. The four challengers—none better than nine points off Chelsea—are sat within a point of each other.
It’s not where Liverpool had hoped to be a few short months ago, but having suffered through injuries and player absence and fixture congestion, Klopp again has his first choice eleven at his disposal and a firm goal for the season: finish in the top four.
“I can’t be influenced by things from outside,” the Liverpool manager added. “I love being here. I know it’s a big challenge to be a success in this league and everyone has opinions, but we have to stay focused and do our job.”