(Reuters) – Liverpool will not give up their pursuit of a top-four spot in the Premier League to focus solely on winning the Champions League, manager Juergen Klopp has said.
Liverpool waltzed to the Premier League title last season, but a campaign marred by injuries and poor form has left them in seventh on 43 points from 27 games, four points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea.
But Klopp’s side can qualify for the Champions League next season by winning this year’s competition. The Merseyside club hold a 2-0 lead over RB Leipzig going into the second leg of their last-16 tie in Budapest.
«We are not in the next round so I can’t think about winning the Champions League now,» Klopp told a news conference ahead of Sunday’s Premier League home game against Fulham. «We have to go through difficult rounds. I don’t think that far» ahead.
«This week, we play these three games with two days in between… which is tough. We will see who we can field on Sunday and then make a decision for Wednesday but it’s not because we gave up in the Premier League, that will never happen.
«Liverpool is too big, too many people are interested and we don’t really play behind closed doors without cameras. It’s in front of our people and we feel the responsibility that in each game, we have to give absolutely everything to win.»
(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by William Mallard)