Liverpool 'are still ambitious like crazy' - Klopp insists motivation not an issue for his side

By Sports Desk December 09, 2019

Jurgen Klopp has insistsed keeping his Liverpool players motivated is not an issue as they are "ambitious like crazy" in their pursuit of major honours on multiple fronts.

The Reds are eight points clear at the top of the Premier League and require a point from Tuesday's trip to Salzburg to guarantee a place in the last 16 of the Champions League, a competition they won last season.

Liverpool will compete in the Club World Cup later this month and are also through to the last eight of the EFL Cup, with the fixtures coming thick and fast in the final month of the year.

Klopp has urged his players to take it one game at a time, starting with their big showdown against Salzburg, who need all three points to qualify.

"It's not that I expect us to go through. I expect us to play the best game we can play," he said at Monday's pre-match news conference.

"Salzburg were very happy that they won against Genk last time out and that we draw against Napoli, so they have a final against us. Napoli were happy because they know they only have to play Genk. 

"We are prepared for that. Salzburg have to win against Liverpool. It's possible and I like that. We are still ambitious like crazy, we will run for our lives. It's not that we come here and think we have to dominate Salzburg.

"We have to focus on the next game. It's tough because we play every three days. Tomorrow night is the most important game in our life because there is no other one."

Liverpool conceded three times in the reverse meeting with Salzburg at Anfield in October - a thrilling 4-3 home win - with highly-rated teenage striker Erling Haaland among the visitors' scorers.

Klopp's men kept their first clean sheet in 14 matches last time out against Bournemouth, but the German coach is hopeful his side can deal with free-scoring Haaland.

"Keeping clean sheets is not really important for the game tomorrow," he said. "Conceding goals happens. We defend well, I think. 

"We didn't defend so well against Salzburg in the first leg. They are a team that surprisingly makes a lot of goals out of counter-attacks. We know their strengths very well and we hope that we can eliminate these strong points.

"How do you defend a very good striker? Try and stop balls into the box. He is a really big talent."

Liverpool will play their third game of the month on Tuesday and have five more to come - on two continents - before the end of the year.

Klopp reiterated that a lot is being asked of his players but is eager for them to enjoy the winning feeling.

"We know our schedule," he added. "We played a tough game two days ago. Six days ago a very tough game. We don't expect drops, we don't accept drops, the boys as well. 

"We ask ourselves for highest concentration. We are in the most intense period of our lives but we will try to enjoy. It is difficult, no doubt about that, but it's not something that can stop us."

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