Sat. Oct 31st, 2020

‘Pressure is just opportunity’ – Klopp calls on players to seize difficult schedule as chance to achieve greatness

2 min read

The Reds have won the Champions League and Club World Cup this year, but their manager has backed them to deliver more honours

Jurgen Klopp has called on Liverpool to see their demanding schedule as a chance to write further history for the club as opposed to feeling pressured by the weight of expectation.

The Reds have won the Champions League and Club World Cup in 2019 to end their trophy drought, and look poised to win their maiden Premier League title this season.

Such triumphs have come at the cost of an even more compressed schedule than usual, with Liverpool forced to field a second-string side in their EFL Cup loss against Aston Villa in order to play in Qatar earlier this month.

Speaking in his programme notes ahead of his side’s final game of the year, against Wolves at Anfield, Klopp backed his team to rise to the challenges ahead of them as they look to add to their haul.

“This group of players know they set their own agenda and their own benchmarks,” he stated.

“They know they have the capacity to decide if going into a game we allow ourselves to feel fatigue or we choose to be fresh in body and mind. It’s a choice we can make – we have the power to decide our own approach.

“I’m not stupid and we know what faces us in this particular period is a big, big test. But this is the Premier League and our ambition is to be the most successful team in it and that means rising to meet every challenge.

“Talking about a particular subject is completely different to using it as an excuse. These players have a ‘no excuse culture’ running through them.

“We will have setbacks, we will lose games, of course we will. But we will never look to external factors to explain it, no matter how legitimate they may appear.”

“Our approach must always be about opportunity. To win the FIFA World Club Cup for the first time in our history was an opportunity and we took it.

“To come back to the fierce intensity of competition in the Premier League on the back of that – to this schedule – is an opportunity for us to perform if we choose to approach it as such, and we will.

“That is what I have seen from the players since we came back together in July and August. We set our agenda. We decide what is possible.

“It is in our gift to view the ‘pressure’ we are supposedly all under as a positive not a negative. The right sort of pressure, which is linked to achieving something special, is a motivator and not a backpack to carry.”

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