Fresh off his first win as Liverpool boss, Reds manager Jurgen Klopp may have been full of his usual jokes during his pre-match press call at Melwood earlier today, but the 48-year old made it clear that despite their recent struggles meeting Chelsea on Saturday will be no laughing matter.
“Do the Chelsea players not know how to play football anymore? No, of course not,” joked the always jovial German. “They did well in the last game and had very, very good and brilliant moments in the game before, but they didn’t win often enough. You know how Chelsea play – usually it is with a very good defence and structure,” analysed the Liverpool boss. “I am not sure it is easier now to play against them – why should it be [easier] than before? Last year they were full of self-confidence and that may make some things different, but to be wounded can make you stronger too,” he said, before adding, “In the end, we cannot decide this game here and now, we have to play and that is what I am really looking forward to. It will be my first time there, so it will be a good moment.”
Video courtesy of Fooball TV 2
While the predictable pre-match build-up has the press pitting the Special One against the Normal One in what could be season defining moments for both managers, the Reds boss has refused to buy into the hyperbole of the occasion, claiming ignorance of the media narrative and re-iterating the fact that he’s here to win football games in general — not just the ones they deem “important”.
“It is a big match but it’s football and I’ve been in this job 15 years – I’ve had some big matches. First of all you have to respect that it’s a match you can win,” he explained, re-enforcing his demand that both the players and supporters starting believing in this team. “That’s the cool thing in football and that’s what I think about, nothing else. I don’t read the newspapers so I don’t know what you think about this game, but it wouldn’t change anything in my mind,” he continued, brushing off any suggestion that this match is more important than others. “I’m full of motivation to win not only games like this, but football games. The better the opponent, the more excited the world around us. We have a chance to improve our situation and that’s what we want to do. Not think too much about the opponent.”