Be proud. Be proud of a 97-point season and second consecutive Champions League final appearance. But don’t be complacent. Instead, take confidence from it, use it to fuel a final push to end the season with a trophy—and, maybe, redemption.
That’s the message Jürgen Klopp says he has been drilling into his players as they’ve trained these past three weeks, looking to stay sharp ahead of Saturday’s match against Tottenham in the biggest game on the club footballing calendar.
“I’m proud—very proud—but it’s not a moment to feel it,” Klopp told the club’s official website today. “It’s a moment to really feel each muscle and it’s important we really say, ‘Okay, come on, we need everything to do it because we want it.’
“We are here again, and what it says about the team is they don’t give up, they don’t stop. Last year when we flew back from Kiev, after the game directly, there was a moment when we were all really sad and disappointed, frustrated, whatever.
“I was standing behind all the guys and going to the plane and I really thought, ‘We have to come back, we have to go back and get this thing right!’ And that we have that chance in the next year immediately is big, it’s really big.”
It is big. Really big. A chance for this group, this team and manager, to really prove they’re amongst the best in the world. It’s the one thing missing, for Klopp and the players and Liverpool in this project to climb back on their perch: a major trophy.
Liverpool have been good before in the years since their 80s pomp. They’ve had good teams and won big prizes. But they have perhaps never quite been where they are today, not since the old First Division became the Premier League.
They’ve never been a team you could think of as potential league and European favourites; a club you could imagine players turning down a move to Barcelona or Bayern for. They are that, now. Or nearly are. All they need is the trophy to prove it.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the boys, but we are not in the moment to feel it,” Klopp added. “I have to kick their backsides in training, I have to push them, I have to keep them awake.”