This season will only be considered a success if Pool
JURGEN Klopp believes the expectation placed upon Liverpool following their finest ever start to a Premier League season means only becoming champions will qualify as a success.
Despite eight wins and three draws in their opening 11 matches, Liverpool sit only third as defending champions Manchester City and Chelsea have emulated the Reds’ unbeaten start.
The Merseysiders underlined their title challenge in the early part of the campaign with some fluent displays although a difficult run of fixtures has since stalled their progress.
Liverpool suffered a surprise Champions League defeat to Red Star Belgrade in midweek and Klopp is looking for some resiliency when they return to domestic action against Fulham tomorrow.
“The season so far, points-wise in the Premier League, has been really successful,” the German said. “But it doesn’t really feel like that because there are two reasons in comparison with last year: free-flowing football in a few games and Man City and maybe Chelsea and a few others have a very good season as well.
“It feels a bit like this season can only be a success if we become champions — in a year our competitors are the champions of last year, the champions of two years ago, a more refreshed Arsenal and a more experienced Tottenham and Manchester United.
“That’s a really tough job but we have no problem with that.
“We have to build on our situation, we have to get better, to get more confidence out of the season.
“It’s all okay but the game on Tuesday was a rather massive knock which was not expected and now we have to react in the right way.”
Midfielders Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita are both in line for a return at Anfield following their respective hamstring injuries.
Only Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remains on the treatment table among players in the middle of the park and Klopp admitted the availability of Henderson and Keita leaves him with tough decisions to make.
“It’s good to have them back and it’s probably the first time that all midfield players, apart from Ox, are available,” Klopp said.
“It’s another thing to do, making decisions about who starts with who. It’s all about fitness levels and form, shape and then we will see.”
Fulham made an encouraging start following promotion from the Championship but have slid to the foot of the table after a