Jurgen Klopp has told his Liverpool players they must “just go for it” for the remainder of the season as they bid to get back into the top four.
Liverpool’s Champions League hopes were ended by Real Madrid on Wednesday night, meaning their only route into next year’s competition is by improving their league position.
“We just go for it, go and go and go and play our best football,” Klopp said ahead of his side’s trip to face Leeds, live on Monday Night Football.
“We are of course under pressure as we want to finish in the top four but we don’t know in the moment if we will. We have seven games to prove that and we will try.”
Both Liverpool and Leeds will be bidding for a fourth straight league win on Monday night, with Leeds coming off an impressive victory away to leaders Manchester City last weekend.
“We should not forget the opponents we face,” Klopp added. “We won the last three and that’s why we’re still around, still in the fight for the Champions League spots.
“It’s clear we have to win football games. It would be best to win all of them, but they are tough opponents and we have to respect all of them.
“We have to win games and put pressure on teams. That’s all we know and we will try.”
Klopp praised Marcelo Bielsa’s side for taking three points off the Premier League leaders with only 10 men, but said there was little for Liverpool to learn tactically from last weekend’s game at the Etihad.
He continued: “They were down to 10 early on so there’s not a lot to take in terms of tactics [for Monday] but they had big character. With the passion they showed they deserved the win.”
‘Let’s hope Kabak and Phillips can continue good form’
Ozan Kabak and Nathaniel Phillips have brought Liverpool some long-awaited stability in defence after a season of Klopp chopping and changing his centre-back pairing following injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and even stand-in centre-half Jordan Henderson.
Liverpool have won their last four league games when Kabak and Phillips have started together and Klopp is hoping that partnership can continue to impress.
“It’s good. Things have to develop, players have to get used to each other,” he said.
“There was never a question about quality. Ozan and Nat have done really well. Hopefully it will stay like this.
“I’m really happy for them. Ozan came here at 20-years-old and is making a big step and winning more games than before, it is good for him. Nat has had an exceptional [start to his Liverpool] career.
Gomez has begun running as he continues his recovery from a knee injury, while Van Dijk, Gomez and Matip are making positive progress on their long-term recovery plans.
Commenting on Gomez’s recovery, Klopp said: “There has been no real reaction in the knee, he is running. He is in a good way like Virg and Joel and Hendo.”