Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp plays down Middlesbrough clash: It’s not a cup final


Jurgen KloppGETTY

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are in fourth place in the Premier League – a point ahead of Arsenal

His side need a win against already relegated Boro to secure a top-four spot and a place in the Champions League, with Manchester City and Arsenal also in the shake-up.

But the Kop boss insists the game will not be treated like a World Cup final.

Klopp said: “I don’t think we need different kinds of descriptions for this game, so it’s a ‘cup final’ or a ‘World Cup final’ or that it’s the most important game of however many years and everything.

“It is a football game. If we really – and I know we do – expected from ourselves that in each game we win the game, what is the difference?

“I don’t think that anybody needs this special motivation”

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

“We always have this kind of pressure; that we want to win the game, that we have to do the right things, we have to defend well, we have to be good organisationally, we have to create chances and we have to score goals.

“So that is not a big difference and I don’t think that anybody needs this special motivation or whatever.

“In the end, we have to play football and I am really happy I have a team able to do this.”

But whatever Klopp says there is no escaping the magnitude of the match.

Liverpool have been in the top four since September and at one stage looked like they would push Chelsea all the way in the title race.

Instead the campaign would be classed a failure if they missed out on the top four, having again failed to land silverware.

It would also make the transfer window much tougher with the likes of Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk – who is a Reds target – being chased by Champions League clubs.

“We have a few meetings, of course, and spoke about the situation,” Klopp added.

Virgil van DijkGETTY

Virgil van Dijk is one of Liverpool’s top transfer targets this summer

“A few moments in life are not really fair and for us, having 70 points – I think last year, second place was 71 points or something.

“Before the last game, we had 70 and I said to the boys, ‘Really, I am already fine’ because we did this and that, not everything perfectly, but it’s not about looking back at where we lost points and where we did this and so on.

“We can do this, but only if we don’t forget the good things too.

“So, let’s play football because that’s the only thing we can really do, the only thing we really have influence on.

“If you only feel the pressure, it makes no sense – you cannot run, you cannot breathe, you’re not free and that’s what football needs so you really can perform.”

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