Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has challenged his side to make a return to the UEFA Champions League for the 2021/22 season after they were handed an exit from this season’s competition by Real Madrid.
The Reds couldn’t find the back of the net at Anfield in a goalless draw after losing 3:1 to Los Blancos in Spain in the first leg.
The Reds will now direct their attention to a top-four finish in the Premier League. Klopp spoke to reporters about his side’s chances of securing a place in the top 4 and subsequently in next season’s Champions League.
“We are not silly. We want what we earn. If we don’t earn it 100% then we respect the situation.
“We concentrate on what we do and what we have to. It is tough, we are still not in hotseat and we play at Leeds United on Monday. That is a tough one, they are the most physical team in the Premier League pretty much so you better run a lot yourself.”
When asked if he was confident about hitting the targets in place for the team after the UCL exit, he said:
“It has nothing to do confidence. I am naturally confident but that doesn’t mean we will end up there. We know the points we have, we know the table, we know the situation. We don’t have to talk too much about it.
“If we want [Champions League football] then we should play really good football which we did tonight but if we want to go through we should finish the situations off on top of it.
“We are not in a bad moment. We played really well and got a late winner against Aston Villa, we played really good against Arsenal and not good against Real Madrid in first leg, but we were not bad tonight.
“We really have to keep going and keep fighting, we want the Champions League next year, but we have to pick up more points than a lot of other teams.”
Liverpool currently sit sixth in the Premier League and have suffered 9 defeats this season with most of them coming at Anfield. They are below the likes of Chelsea and West Ham and need to bridge a three-point gap to enter the top four.
There are 7 games to go before the season comes to an end and the race for places in the top 4 has heated up significantly. There’s still hope for the Reds if they can be consistent as Leicester City in third lead them with just 4 points.