Jürgen Klopp met with the media ahead of the season finale at Southampton. He discussed the club's attitude after finishing 5th on the table, the approach to the match and an early outlook at the transfer window for next season.
As soon as Liverpool became locked into the 5th spot on the table, the club took a minute to process the implications and then it was back to business.
“Of course in the moment when it's then a fact that you cannot qualify for the Champions League anymore, that's a moment where… because even when I knew after the last game they need one point or whatever, the other two teams need one point, for me it was clear they will get that point so I drew kind of a line underneath it,” Klopp said. “We are in the season not since a week or whatever, we are a long time here and from a specific point on it was clear this will not be a historically good season; so after the World Cup, not everything was great but the amount of points we collected since then is pretty good and if we could have done that over the whole season we would be in a different place. If you don't qualify for the Champions League the best possible place you can end up is fifth, that's what we did.”
Klopp admits that he has not been in a situation too often where everything has been decided and says he does not want to put too much emphasis on the contest, but the Reds will always play to win.
“We don't have to make [that situation] now bigger than it is,” he said. “I don't think it makes sense to. I'm not used to games on the last matchday where everything is sorted before, I cannot remember when that last time was the case, usually, we play until the last matchday and everything is at stake pretty much. But football, we only play this game to win the game, that's the only reason we meet. And we have to make sure that I find a line-up with good legs, a lot of desire. And we have to see.”
With the outcome of this season set, Klopp gave some early thoughts on the transfer window and players going out on loan for next season. He indicated that Liverpool would stay as active as ever in the transfer market.
“It's a long window and it's a long pre-season and a long break in between. So we have time; if we get the new players in tomorrow or in six or seven weeks it's not a game-changer for me, to be honest. In an ideal world, they are all signed tomorrow and I can tell them when they have to be here, we can start giving them the plans for the summer break and these kinds of things. But that will not happen like this, all good…. there is no plans (to loan players) now already that we say, ‘you go there, or you go...' No, no, no. We want to keep them, if we can give them the opportunity to play [then] we will keep them, definitely.”
I think Klopp struck the right balance here. He obviously wants to win the game but does not want to take unnecessary risks to do so. The boss also began to look forward to next season which is the right thing to do as the Reds try to build off of their strong finish to this one.
“But football, we only play this game to win the game, that’s the only reason we meet. And we have to make sure that I find a line-up with good legs, a lot of desire. And we have to see.”