Sunday’s game against Middlesbrough, despite the weak competition, is a big one for Liverpool, with a chance at Champions League football on the line. In fact, it’s second only to the Europa League final in terms of important games in Jürgen Klopp’s tenure as manager. This fact certainly isn’t lost on him, but he has some words of encouragement for the fans watching at Anfield and at home on Sunday.
“When I started here I said we had to change from doubters to believers and I think now we have a few days before the game, so look forward to it, be positive,” Klopp told the official site.
“If somebody comes to you and says ‘but if…’ – and that’s not the most used words in and around Liverpool – but if, then send him out, say ‘come on, go away, I don’t want to hear about it’.”
“There’s no reason for it. This team has shown so much this season and we will be ready for this game, and we should really be positive and try to enjoy the game. Maybe it’s nervy for the supporters around, but it’s the job to do, unfortunately.
“I’m really looking forward to it and I could use this moment then to say ‘thank you’ for the outstanding atmospheres this season. I don’t want to say ‘you can’t do better’, but it was already pretty good this season and we’ve enjoyed it a lot. Let’s go one more time and get the full package.”
The way that Klopp works in a little constructive criticism for crowd’s atmosphere while praising it is like Man Management 101. Smooth as silk, right there.
With all that’s riding on this last fixture, it’s easy to forget that it will also be the last one of a very entertaining season. After Sunday, win or lose, we will be forced into two months of Liverpool football emptiness, with only the summer transfer window and some international games to fill the void in our hearts and our social calendars.
So taking some time to enjoy it in between the praying, swearing, and abject fear isn’t the worst idea.