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Klopp on Liverpool top 4 push: ‘I never expected this’

Jurgen Klopp candidly speaks with Joe Prince-Wright about Liverpool's rapid rise into the top four in the closing weeks of the 2020-21 Premier League season.

Jurgen Klopp is trying to stay calm but Liverpool is on the verge of pulling off a huge achievement by finishing in the top four.

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Heading into the final game of the season on Sunday, at home against Crystal Palace, the 2019-20 Premier League champions know if they win it is very, very likely they will be in the Champions League next season.

Finishing in the top four after all of their injuries, all of their struggles, would be one of his best achievements as Liverpool boss.

Speaking to reporters after the 3-0 win at Burnley which set up what he calls a final day ‘final’ against Palace after winning the ‘semifinal’ against Burnley, Klopp did his best to stay calm.

What did the Liverpool boss say?

But when asked by ProSoccerTalk how pleased he is to be in this situation heading into the final day of the season, Klopp was clearly delighted his team have pulled things around.

“I couldn’t be more pleased. I never expected this. I don’t take things like this for granted,” Klopp smiled. “This season for us is an incredibly tough, tough season. I think really weeks ago, I don’t know exactly when but I heard Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, was the last time we were in the top four. Yeah, because we didn’t win a lot of games until then. But now in the last 8-10 games, we are back on track.

“If we win on Sunday, then probably, it depends on the result of Leicester or Chelsea, then we are probably qualified for the Champions League and yeah, it is insane that we have come this close. But we are not through. So, when you win the semifinal you go to the final. That is where we are and we will give our absolute everything to win that as well.”

Liverpool have won seven of their last nine games and are unbeaten in that run, as they have surged from eighth place in the table to fourth.

If they win against Palace and Leicester don’t win against Tottenham with a swing of more than four goals in their favor, then Liverpool know they will be in the Champions League next season.

Experience key for Liverpool

Klopp has referenced previous situations he has been in on the final day of the season, be it title pushed with Dortmund and Liverpool, top four battles or even relegation scraps with Mainz, and how he always seems to keep things interesting for the finale.

A lot of those players have been in these kind of situations before, maybe not Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams, but that counts for a lot.

What has Klopp learned from those experienced that can help Liverpool handle the pressure against Palace, in front of 10,000 of their own fans at Anfield, on Sunday?

“Just keep going. Keep believing. Keep improving. Don’t put two games into one and think about this and that. Concentrate and stay focused on the next one. Don’t think about the game after that. All of these kind of things. You just have to keep going,” Klopp said. “That is what we do. It is incredibly tough for the boys and what they have to do at the moment. And you need to be lucky in moments as well, that is clear. For tonight it was good enough and we have to make sure we are good enough as well on Sunday.”

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