Jurgen Klopp insists he never had hope that Liverpool’s recent run of form could lead to Champions League qualification.
Liverpool’s hopes of a top four finish are fading after Newcastle thrashed Brighton 4-1 on Thursday, a result which leaves the Magpies one win from a place in next season’s Champions League.
Liverpool have won seven consecutive league games and are fifth in the Premier League table, a point behind Manchester United, but the Red Devils have a game in hand and remain in a strong position for the top four.
Klopp’s side face Aston Villa in their final home game of the season this weekend and the German was asked whether he had been disappointed by Newcastle’s midweek win.
“I never had hope for that (the top four). It is no problem. I know we have to win our games and maybe then we have a chance, maybe,” he told his pre-match press conference.
“I watched [Newcastle beat Brighton] but didn’t think when they scored that I was disappointed. That happened once in my life, when Vincent Kompany fired a ball in the goal [for Manchester City against Leicester in 2019]. It is not in our hands; whatever they get, they deserve.”
Klopp said he is prepared for a ‘proper battle’ this weekend against an Aston Villa side pushing for a place in Europe next season.
“We have to be ready for a proper battle; Aston Villa is going for Europe like us. It is our last home game; the crowd has to be ready for the game and to fight for 90-odd minutes.”
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