LONDON (AFP) – Jurgen Klopp has shrugged off the ‘Inevitables’ tag as Liverpool take a break from their relentless pursuit of the Premier League title to focus on the FA Cup.
Liverpool stretched their lead at the top of the table to 16 points on Thursday with a game in hand over nearest challengers Manchester City after scoring late to beat Wolves 2-1.
But the Reds boss again brushed off suggestions that it is inevitable Liverpool will win their first English league title for 30 years.
“We couldn’t care less about these kinds of things,” Klopp said ahead of tonight’s FA Cup fourth round tie at Shrewsbury.
“As far as I’m concerned I think we are not even mathematically qualified for the Champions League for next year so the only thing we can do is focus on the next football game.
“This is now Shrewsbury, then West Ham, then Southampton. Then we have a week off and then we start again. That’s the plan.
“I don’t know another plan so whatever you say about us, if it’s positive, thank you very much. If it’s negative, I don’t care.”
Klopp told reporters at his pre-match press conference on Friday that the game at Wolves, won with a Roberto Firmino goal in the 84th minute, was a good example of Liverpool’s tough task.
“It was never easy, it was never going to be easy and we just need to fight as much as we can,” he said.
“That’s what the boys did last night again. That’s why we won the game. That’s the only thing we can do so it’s the only thing we are focussed on.”
Klopp said Sadio Mane was having a scan after limping off in the first half at Molineux and he did not know the severity of the Senegal winger’s injury.
The German said he would make changes for the trip to third tier Shrewsbury after shaking up the side in the previous round against Everton.
He also heaped praise on Japan forward Takumi Minamino, who made his Premier League debut as Mane’s replacement against Wolves after signing from Salzburg earlier this month.
“He’s exactly the player we expected to get, super, super boy, super player really. You saw so many things of his ability last night,” Klopp said.
“This game last night (against Wolves) was a proper fight and he was completely ready for that, for him still in a new environment with a new team and really adapting and from a tactical point of view it was an outstanding game.
“So that’s what we see in training. In training we see more of course of all the finishing stuff, the creating stuff. Just the player we wanted and now he’s ours.”