Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp not bothered about poor record at Man United

Press Association Sport 12:27 19/10/2019
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Jurgen Klopp insists his – and the club’s – poor record at Old Trafford has no bearing on Sunday’s match against Manchester United.

The German has not won in four visits to their arch-rivals’ ground, coming away with three draws and a defeat.

Liverpool’s last victory there came in March 2014, a 3-0 win by Brendan Rodgers’ side in their thrilling title challenge of that season.

In the Premier League they have won just five times in 27 visits, losing on 16 occasions.

But Klopp is a man whose mantra has always been to leave history where it belongs – in the past – and has no concerns about the statistics.

“I never really struggled with confidence to be honest. I am quite optimistic they (his players) have a chance,” said the Liverpool manager, whose side are looking to equal Manchester City’s Premier League record of 18 successive victories.

“History, in this case, is not really important. We are really looking forward to playing the game.

“If someone tells us I haven’t won there I wouldn’t have known. Let’s try for the first time and if we cannot win then perform in the best possible way and if they beat us ‘Congratulations’.

“We are not nervous because of the winning streak and the history we could make, we don’t think about it really. We are pretty relaxed but very ambitious as well.”

The Premier League leaders are eight from eight in the league this season and go into the weekend with an eight-point advantage at the top. Twelfth-placed United, by contrast, have endured their worst start for 30 years.

Nevertheless, there have been concerns expressed about recent performances with Liverpool enjoying a large slice of luck in their last two wins against Sheffield United, when goalkeeper Dean Henderson allowed the ball to slip through his legs, and Leicester, with an added-time penalty.

Klopp shrugged off the criticism, saying: “Can we play better, yes of course.

“But first and foremost you have to play better in the moment and that is influenced by your opponent, different situations, last game, next game, whatever.

“I liked the Leicester game a lot but that’s over now and we don’t rely on winning a game without performing.

“It is just about building on things and making the next step. We are not perfect but we are working on getting better.

“It worked out kind of so far and now the next challenge is a good opponent in a difficult situation and we should be ready for that as well.

“I am sure they (United) are all on their toes, ready and waiting for us.”

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Why Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp feels he's in middle of 'circus' before Man United clash

Press Association Sport 20:14 18/10/2019
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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp accepts his Premier League leaders are currently at the centre of a “circus” but he insists it does not impact within the club.

They go into the weekend with an eight-point lead over defending champions Manchester City and face arch-rivals Manchester United on Sunday with a staggering 15-point advantage.

It means the Reds are strong favourites to equal City’s Premier League record of 18 successive victories and has led to many pundits naming their combined XIs without a single United player in them.

“When you make a combined line-up and have 11 players of Liverpool – it’s like a joke, like building a banana skin,” he said.

“The world at the moment is a circus and we are at the centre. I’m not influenced by it. I am 100 per cent sure of the strength of Man United.”

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Premier League title the "barometer of success" by which Liverpool is judged

Press Association Sport 13:45 15/10/2019
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Liverpool chief executive Peter Moore believes adding a long-awaited league title to their Champions League triumph is the “barometer of success” by which the club is judged.

A sixth European Cup was secured in June, less than a month after the Reds were narrowly pipped by Manchester City to the Premier League by a point, despite a tally which would have guaranteed top spot in 25 of the last 27 seasons.

The league resumes on Saturday with Jurgen Klopp’s side – in possession of the only 100 per cent record in England’s top four divisions – eight points clear of City and set for another title challenge.

“I think that is what our fans want,” Moore exclusively told the PA news agency.

“We were so close last year, 97 points, and in any other year we would have won it.

“But the club goes on and I think that (a league title), for many of our fans, would sit alongside our Champions League triumph as the barometer of success.

“As a club off the pitch we have a set of visions, missions and values and at the top of that sits supporting the team to ‘win trophies’.

Peter Moore.

Peter Moore.

“Two words, because ultimately that is what our fans want and that is what we need to deliver.”

City have been the domestic benchmark for their rivals, with four Premier League titles, four League Cups and two FA Cups since 2011.

However, Moore insists Liverpool are following their own path.

“We feel good about the club in its entirety and we don’t compare ourselves with any other football club,” he added.

“What Liverpool had to do was bring in a world-class manager, which we have, bring in a world-class squad, which we have, play exciting football, bring in players that are going to draw crowds no matter where they go – we’ve done that – build financial security at the club, we’ve done that.

“It all sets us up for success going forward. It is not a question of us comparing ourselves versus another club.”

Exactly nine years ago Fenway Sports Group – then New England Sports Ventures – completed their £300million purchase of the club.

Their first job was paying off the £237million owed to major creditors Royal Bank of Scotland – ruling out any threat of the club’s holding company being put into administration.

They inherited a club, unthinkably, in the Premier League’s bottom three with six points from their opening seven matches during the short-lived reign of Roy Hodgson.

Sustained investment in the squad and infrastructure has elevated the American group to the highest point of their ownership, with the club posting £125m record profits – re-invested back into the squad even before the financial results were announced in February – winning the Champions League and starting this season brilliantly.

It has not all been plain sailing with walk-out protests over ticket price rises in 2016 and a recent issue over the failed attempt to trademark the word ‘Liverpool’ but on-field success has appeased fans.

“From a prestige perspective it (the Champions League victory) kind of gets us back to where we once were in what we liked to call ‘European royalty’, so the impact is massive,” said Moore.

“When we look at the health of the club our revenues have doubled in the last five years and been reinvested back into the squad. We have steadied the ship from some dark days nine years ago.

“We take great pride in our business model: a self-sustaining football club.

“Simply, you drive revenues as best you can to invest on the pitch and that investment on the pitch pays off and global sponsors and advertisers want to be a part of that.

“They continue to give the football club revenue which will again drive investment on the pitch and we win more games.

“It is a virtuous cycle and that is the modern business model for high-performing football clubs: invest, invest, invest for success.

“Yes, we had that headline, £125million, but all of that money, by the time we had announced that, had been reinvested in players like Virgil Van Dijk, Alisson Becker, Naby Keita and Fabinho. But the club is in fine shape financially.

“I think, as you saw from Jurgen’s comments, he has the squad he likes and we have locked this squad up on long-term contracts, which is important.

“He has built the chemistry and these players are content, motivated and excited to win – not just for Jurgen and the coaching staff but for the people of Liverpool and broader global fanbase.”

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