Jurgen Klopp admits Liverpool are in a ‘tough’ race to just finish in the top four after seeing his side drop to fourth following a goalless draw with Manchester United this weekend.
Liverpool were crowned as champions for the first time in 30 years in record-breaking fashion last season but have struggled to replicate those performances during the current campaign, the Reds now without a win in their past four Premier League fixtures.
Despite dominating possession for large periods of the game, Klopp’s side were once again void of ideas in attack and have now failed to score in their past three games, dropping to fourth and remaining three points adrift of league leaders United.
The competitive nature of the division means that Tottenham are now just a further point back in fifth after winning at Sheffield United, whilst Everton can move above Liverpool and into the Champions League places should they win their game in hand – though that is against Manchester City.
Whilst defending the title remains the objective for the Reds this season, Klopp insists his first priority is ensuring Champions League qualification and admits his side are in a ‘tough’ race to make the top four this season.
“In the season we came second with 97 points, I only started thinking about winning the title when it was clear that we were in the Champions League,” said Klopp at his post-match press conference.
“I know my job. I know what I have to do. I have to qualify for the Champions League and I know how difficult that is. That means this season will be a tough race for the top four, that is for sure. I knew it always. It was always clear.”