Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has suggested that the champions would not be so far behind leaders Manchester City if it were a ‘normal season’, amid the Reds current poor run of form.
After romping to the title last season and finishing 18 points ahead of second-placed Manchester City, Liverpool have endured a dismal title defence this term and currently find themselves 16 points adrift of Pep Guardiola’s league leaders.
That has left Klopp’s men in a real scrap for a top four place, with their recent run of three successive defeats all but ending their hopes of retaining the title.
While they did bounce back with an impressive 2-0 win over RB Leipzig in the Champions League in midweek, it has done little to lift the doom and gloom surrounding the club, heading into a crucial Merseyside derby this weekend.
Ahead of that game, the former Borussia Dortmund boss has suggested that in a ‘normal season’ his side would not be so far off the top, with a whole host of crippling injuries playing a key factor in their fortunes.
“It was never the case where we thought how can we overtake City. Or how can we become the finest team in English football again, whatever that means,” Klopp said at his pre-match press conference.
“We just wanted to be the best version of ourselves. We have that chance again. If that is good enough, it is good enough. If another team is better, that’s how sport works.
“We cannot do more than be the best version of ourselves and that is what we will try again as a team.
“For that we need a little bit more luck, of course. Some slightly more luck with injuries and we can get closer to that.
“We all agree, and I’m sure Pep would say that, in a normal season for both teams we would not be 16 points away.
“But we are. That’s how it is. We accept it. This season it is not our concern how close we get to City. It is how far we can go up the table. That is enough work to do.”