Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he isn’t even thinking about Champions League qualification despite the Reds winning their third game in a row against West Ham on Wednesday evening.
The Merseyside club have closed the gap to the top four to six points, although the likes of Manchester United and Newcastle above them do have games in hand. Asked about the race for fourth after the 2-1 win over the Hammers, Klopp replied:
“I can’t see the race yet, I can’t. That’s because we are not in the position for a race. So the only thing we can do is keep winning football games. If that puts pressure on other teams, that’s not in our hands because we don’t play them. We play Tottenham – that’s it from that area, I think, of teams above us.”
“If they win all their games, that’s it for us. But I don’t think about that. I want us to finish the season as good as somehow possible. I want to take something out of the season for next year. If that is European competition, great. If not, we have to accept it as well and go from there. That’s what I want now.”
As Klopp points out, it is not in Liverpool’s hands. One of United and Newcastle will have to drop a lot of points during the run-in for the Reds to have a chance, while Klopp’s men will need to secure victories in all six of their remaining fixtures.
It’s a tough ask, and the team’s focus simply has to be on doing their own job first. Liverpool have a run of three consecutive home matches coming up, so they have to take advantage and get points on the board.