Liverpool can’t stand still if they are to turn their progress under Jürgen Klopp into the trophy success they crave, insists the manager.
As Klopp’s fourth season as Reds boss nears a conclusion, his side are locked in a Premier League title race with Manchester City and have a Champions League semi-final against FC Barcelona next month to look forward to.
Three cup finals have preceded this outstanding campaign, of course, but silverware has to date eluded the German at Anfield.
Which explains why, despite his satisfaction with the results of the current season, Klopp knows Liverpool have not yet reached their final destination of development.
“A lot of people reminded me that when I first came here I signed a three-year contract and I said in four years if we’re sat here we probably would have won something. It didn’t happen yet,” he said.
“Both sides – the club and myself – have a wonderful commitment that we really try everything to make the club as successful as possible. How long it will take, I have no clue. The position we are now in I am really happy with.
“Not that it is the final position where we want to be, but the awareness from outside of the club, where we are, second time in the Champions League semi-final – that is really special.
“So many teams tried this year again and it did not happen for different reasons. Of course you need luck in some moments. We needed it. Before the Napoli home game, who would have thought we would be in the semis again?
“It’s a good moment but it’s not where we want to be at the end. We have a lot to improve. Our problem is the other teams do not sleep and have made a lot of good decisions as well. I don’t know how long it will take.”
After completing their Champions League quarter-final job in Porto earlier this week, Liverpool next journey to Cardiff City in the Premier League on Sunday.
Just as they did last year, the Reds are juggling domestic and European targets simultaneously – though Klopp considers this season’s scenario ‘more positive’.
But he also knows his side cannot let up when they face a Cardiff outfit battling to avoid relegation.
“We still don’t feel the pressure. We see and feel it as an opportunity,” said the boss.
“We have these unbelievably strong opponents. We have to win all our games, which is difficult enough, and on the other side our opponent is Man City. That makes life not easy. In the Champions League the situation is the same, we play Barcelona.
“There are not a lot of stronger teams in the world out there so how can we think we are halfway through? We are in it. That’s it. And if you are in it, you can win it and that is what we try.
“That is how we see it for a long time. I do not see a massive difference in this situation except it is a more positive fight to last year, fighting for the Champions League [qualification places] is real pressure because it changes a lot if you are in or not.
“Fighting for the league is much more positive. That is what we try but it is still a tough job. Now we can sit and talk but on Sunday we have to sweat a lot and work a lot and go through really difficult moments. If we do that we have a chance to win there as well.”