City will come back strongly next sea­son, in­sists Klopp

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - By Chris Bas­combe

Jurgen Klopp says the new Premier League cham­pi­ons are un­der no obli­ga­tion to give a “state­ment” per­for­mance against Manch­ester City tonight as he shrugged off the sug­ges­tion Liver­pool had ended their op­po­nents’ era of dom­i­nance.

The Liver­pool man­ager ex­pects City to come back strongly next sea­son, but does not be­lieve tonight’s match will of­fer clues as to who will have the up­per hand.

“I don’t think we have to make a state­ment,” Klopp said. “What would change for next year if we beat City or if they beat us? If we win, peo­ple will say we are the best team in the league and if they win peo­ple will say City are bet­ter, but we won the league. That is re­ally not so im­por­tant.

“We both have to be ready for next year, not that I will worry too much about City, but that we all have to be ready. You can re­ally see in this mo­ment that [Manch­ester] United is com­ing up. Peo­ple can see how good they are and how good they can be. They will not be worse next year, and Chelsea as well. It is not about City and us.

“It was for one or two years at the top of the ta­ble be­tween City and us, and it was about City for the last four or five years. They have all the tools you need to be there more con­sis­tently.”

City’s fail­ure to re­place Vin­cent Kom­pany may have cost them this year and they will lose David Silva in the sum­mer, but Klopp ex­pects a re­sponse. “A lot of world-class play­ers are still there. If [Ser­gio] Aguero gets older, Gabriel Je­sus is there. They will not stop,” he said. “I’m very pos­i­tive about my team. But I can­not deny they are re­ally good and we wanted to beat them. I don’t see any end of any era. I can­not see the end of any­thing for Man City.”

Klopp has re­vealed how he took in­spi­ra­tion from New Zealand’s All Blacks to re­store pride in the Liver­pool jersey. His fas­ci­na­tion with the rugby le­gends goes back to his time as Mainz coach, an in­flu­ence he took to An­field.

“In my first sea­son as man­ager at Mainz, I saw this doc­u­men­tary. I was com­pletely im­pressed by th­ese big fel­las and how they spoke about their past and what it meant to them to play for this team,” he said.

“The last two min­utes be­fore the team bus ar­rived at the sta­dium, we al­ways lis­tened to the haka and it gave us a lit­tle kick. They were the All Blacks, Mainz, their main colour is red, so we made our­selves the All Reds.” Asked if he car­ried that to Liver­pool, Klopp replied: “Yes.”

Red alert: Jurgen Klopp said Liver­pool had not ended Manch­ester City’s era of suc­cess and is ready for a bat­tle next sea­son

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