Jurgen Klopp recalled past “miracles” on Friday but admitted Liverpool’s destiny was not in their own hands as his red-hot team hunt down a top-four finish in the Premier League.
Last month the Reds were in eighth place, 10 points behind fourth-placed Manchester United, but six successive victories have propelled them to fifth and only a point behind their fierce rivals, who have a match in hand.
Klopp, whose team have three games left, starting at relegation-threatened Leicester on Monday, was reminded at his pre-match press conference of previous remarkable comebacks, including the overturning of a 3-0 first-leg deficit to beat Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals in 2019.
Liverpool also came from a seemingly impossible position in the Premier League in 2021 to qualify for the top four, with goalkeeper Alisson Becker scoring a stoppage-time winner at West Brom in one of their games.
“Everybody who was involved in these moments will never forget it in our entire lives, that’s how it is,” said Klopp. “That means it’s part of us.
“We were around when miracles happened, that’s true. But it was then, still, in our hands. So we had to score against West Brom and we had to win against Barcelona.
“Now we have to win, but that would not mean that anything changed because the other teams could win all their games — that’s the difference.”
Klopp admitted that finishing in the top four, which guarantees qualification for next season’s Champions League looked “completely out of sight” just weeks ago.
Speaking about potential pressure on the teams above them, he said: “(Third-placed) Newcastle and Manchester United would be happier probably if we were not there… but still it’s more likely that they will do it. If they finish the season above us, they deserve it.”
The German manager, whose team came close to winning an unprecedented quadruple last season, said his side’s winning run had set the tone for next season after an inconsistent campaign.
“This period is super-important because it gives us all a massive hint on how it could look and we all know we are in the early stages,” he said.
“We have to improve, we have to train a lot, work a lot to make things more natural and more clear for the boys of what we want exactly.
“That’s all true. That’s why it’s so important to have started it early and not to play a season and end up in position 10 or 11.”
He added: “Everyone knows already we are going in the right direction and that’s really helpful.”