Klopp: What ‘really surprised’ me at start of Liverpool reign
Jurgen Klopp “was really surprised” by the amount of effort teams put into trying to beat Liverpool, even at their worst.
Klopp took over the Reds in October 2015 and has taken them to Champions League and Premier League glory within five years.
They have suffered their fair share of defeats on the way, from Klopp’s first against Crystal Palace, to setbacks at the hands of Newcastle, Watford, West Ham and Swansea.
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The German admitted his “surprise” at just how much games against Liverpool meant to the opposition.
“When I came here I was really surprised how much a game against Liverpool means to other teams, even when we were not considered as Liverpool of the past, like seventh or eighth in the league,” he said.
“When we arrived at the stadium I thought, ‘Wow, they really have a proper go for it’.
“That has never changed, so I am not sure we can have a bigger target on our back than we already had last season.
“Everybody wanted to beat us, obviously, for a good reason. (Although) not so many could do it, I don’t think that will change.
“If we think because we are champions they want to beat us even more, then we have already lost a few per cent of our approach, mood, attitude and all that stuff. I am not ready for that.”
Klopp also reiterated his desire to “not try to defend” their title, but to “attack the next one”.
“That’s the truth, you don’t change your approach,” he said. “That is what we always did and there is no reason for changing it.
“Motivation will not be our problem. I know this team will not stop trying.
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“I don’t expect everything to happen for me, I never expected it, but I expect I will give absolutely everything and I expect the boys to do that as well.”