Jurgen Klopp issues rallying cry to his Liverpool team ahead of run-in
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has warned his side they don't have time to sulk over their poor campaign if they're to stand any chance of making the top four.
Last season's Premier League champions have endured a shambolic title defence and could quite easily miss out on European football all together.
The Reds sit seven points off fourth place Chelsea - though they do hold at least one game in hand over the majority of the sides above them - yet Klopp isn't giving up hope of qualifying for next season's Champions League and says his side need to be fully focused for the rest of the campaign.
"We are not kids in a candy shop who are not getting the candies," he told reporters (via Sky Sports). "We are responsible for the situation we are in and nobody will watch next season's Champions League and lie in front of the television and cry if we are not involved.
"If somebody would struggle with that, hopefully I would realise and I could solve that situation early. I am pretty sure I would recognise it early.
"We still have a chance for the Champions League and we have to be concentrated on that. Some people obviously think we don't have a chance any more so we should already write the season off."
Liverpool's squad has been decimated by injuries this season and despite demanding complete focus for their remaining five games of the 2020/21 campaign, Klopp did concede he's looking forward to seeing his side bounce back next season when a number of their key personnel return.
"The summer is important for all of us and you can say exactly the same about each player," he added. "When you don't start games, you have to use each training session and each minute on the pitch to convince. I don't have to be convinced to be honest but it's about showing up in these kinds of situations.
"Ox [Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain] had really good moments, trains really good at the moment, and his situation is not easy, not only for him but all the boys in that situation. Thiago became, in a really difficult season, a very important player for us.
"I don't think we saw it already but we are 100% convinced we will get the best out of him because he is a world class player.
"For Naby [Keita], it's not easy, for Shaq [Xherdan Shaqiri], it's not easy and for some other players, it is not easy, I know that, but a lot of things happened during the season and what we tried to get and keep was balance and rhythm.
"With always having a different defence, a few things in midfield needed to be different to other times when we were much more settled and stable, and that is the reason why some players don't have enough minutes.
"That will hopefully change next year completely because when you have more stability in the last line then you can be more flexible formation-wise further up the pitch."