In an interview at Liverpool’s Melwood training complex, Jurgen Klopp spoke about the intensity of the title race.
Are you able to enjoy the title race, Jurgen?
Tough luck for a man who is knee-deep in what could prove to be the tightest Premier League championship battle in several years.
Twenty-nine years have passed since Liverpool last won the league title, 29 years in which they have come close before but fallen at the final hurdle.
Under manager Jurgen Klopp, that run may be coming to an end, with the Reds sitting four points ahead of Manchester City at the top of the table with 15 matches left to play.
For Liverpool fans, it’s exciting, yet nerve-wracking – and their German boss is under no illusions as to the importance of those matches.
“It’s not the biggest stress in the world, but it’s so intense and so important and all in a short time,” Klopp told BBC sport editor Dan Roan.
“Football is not the most important thing in the world, but at these moments, of course, it feels like that because we have nothing else to do.
“It’s not easy to enjoy but I love what I do.”
He is yet to win a trophy with the Anfield club but he is looking to change that as Liverpool chase a 19th English top-flight title – and their first since the 1989-90 season.
This is arguably their best chance since then. The Reds have won 19 of their 23 league matches to date with their only defeat coming at Manchester City on 3 January. They are also through to the last 16 of the Champions League where they will face Bayern Munich.
Klopp has an impressive trophy haul as a manager, having won two Bundesliga titles with former club Borussia Dortmund, but in his few years on Merseyside, he has come to realise how important success is to the Liverpool fans.
“I don’t meet a lot of people, that’s the truth. I am here or at home or at Anfield,” he said. “I would be excited if I was a supporter of Liverpool, but of course we have to deliver results to keep them all excited.
“It’s really not about me. It’s really about the supporters, first and foremost. Because they dream so long, I cannot say that I have dreamed 29 years for another title for Liverpool, to be honest.
“But a lot of people dream of that and that’s what we try to deliver.”
The Premier League title is two-team race, but the pressure on the manager who comes in second will be huge. If City win the title, and assuming Liverpool don’t win the Champions League, that would mean that Klopp has yet to win anything after 3 1/2 years at Anfield. At what point will the press begin to focus on his inability to win a trophy?
On the other hand, if Liverpool do win the league, and assuming City don’t win the Champions League, that would mean that Pep has won one league title in three years, and 0 Champions League’s despite having by far the most expensive squad ever in the Premier League. Will City’s owners be satisfied with that return? I am not that sure they will.
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