Jurgen Klopp issues title challenge to Liverpool stars over planned Premier League restart
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp expects the Premier League season to restart and is confident his squad will be prepared for when it does.
The Premier League has been in a state of flux since March 13, with no matches having been played for almost two months and uncertainty as to what will happen with the remainder of the 2019-20 campaign.
Liverpool have not been in action since their 2-1 win over Bournemouth at Anfield on March 7, with Manchester City’s loss to Manchester United the following day having left the Reds six points away from the league title.
Klopp’s charges are looking to become the first Liverpool team to win the league since 1990, with sides managed by Gerard Houllier, Rafa Benitez and Brendan Rodgers having all come close but ultimately failed.
Liverpool’s greatest near miss came under Jurgen Klopp last season, when they recorded a club-record 97 points only to be pipped by Manchester City, who won all of their final 14 matches to retain their crown.
But before the coronavirus crisis shut down football across Europe, the Merseyside club had opened up a 25-point lead over Pep Guardiola’s reigning champions and were on the cusp of glory.
The Premier League’s indefinite suspension has cast doubt as to whether or not Liverpool will actually be crowned champions this season.
But it appears as though whether or not the campaign can be concluded on the pitch or off it, the Reds will be recognised as title winners.
The league is currently planning in hope that it can return to action in mid-June, with Liverpool then 180 minutes away from long-awaited glory – though the trophy will not be lifted in front of supporters, with all games to be behind closed doors.
And Jurgen Klopp, speaking to Fox Sports, insists his squad are desperate to get back out on the pitch – and is confident they will be ready for when they do.
“The boys have a lot of work to do, physical work because we all expect to go again,” the German said.
“I dont know exactly when but we have to prepare for that – that is what the boys do.
“When we come back together again, we have to make the best of the situation we have.
“We dont know how long we will get to prepare for the games, so in that moment we will just try.
“When we give the boys a challenge to do in their gardens you can see in them they play really like five, six year old boys, and that is what we will try to transfer onto the pitch then as well.”
Should the Premier League resume, as is hoped, on June 12 then the campaign is likely to be wrapped up within six weeks or so.
He continued: “There will be busy times coming up – hopefully – but we are prepared for that.
“We are so recharged I can tell you – you can use my energy to light up different cities in my home area!
“So thats 100 per cent possible and thats how it is at the moment.
“We have to make sure that we will be physically ready again.
“Then there is the technical thing and the tactical thing.
“It is the tactical thing we probably work most on at the moment with a lot of videos we send the boys – we send them videos of what we did well, what we didnt do well and what we want to do in the future.
“We remind ourselves of things we have achieved in the past and want to achieve in the future.
“There are a lot of things we are really looking forward to do again.
“It is the little things, you appreciate the little things so much more in this moment, the little things you can do.”
The Premier League’s plans are dependent on getting the green light from the government.
While the bottom six clubs are against the idea of playing at neutral stadiums due to the loss of home advantage, despite the safety concerns behind the idea, the league should get the 14 votes it needs to pass the proposal by majority.
That rule would of course mean Liverpool cannot win the title, or lift it, at Anfield.
But it is thought to be the only way in which the season can conceivably be completed without putting a strain on the country’s public services, particularly the NHS and the police.
As English top-flight clubs move closer to a return, protocols are being put in place for players to return to training grounds for individual sessions.
Full team training could then return by the end of the month, to allow players to be fully fit by the time fixtures resume.
Yet despite having spent so long away from each other, Jurgen Klopp says the harmony within the Liverpool squad has not been damaged.
He laughed: “We immediately created a chat group just a very lively one!
“There are around 60 people involved, all the Melwood staff, and I told them I dont want that anybody feels alone for a second in this time.
“Whatever happens we will go through it together.
“That is what we said on the first day, and we are close, as close as possible in these times.
“It as good as possible, not perfect, but as good as possible.”