Jurgen Klopp has told his players to forget about the emotion of playing four games against Manchester clubs in a matter of weeks and to focus on beating Southampton on Sunday.
Man Utd and Man City face each other in the Manchester derby at the Etihad on Saturday, and the German says he will use the guaranteed dropped points as motivation for his side:
“Yes, they play each other. I start to think about the (Southampton) game now and 100% I will use this in the (team) meeting and say ‘they will take points from each other’,” he said (via Echo).
“That makes sense but there is still a long way to go. If we can we will try to close the gap a little bit on Sunday and hopefully in the weeks later.”
We are currently eighth, seven points behind Man City in fourth and three behind United in sixth, though we have a game in hand on both of them.
It’s fair to say that a derby draw is probably the best result, though a win for United could see us move to within a point of City and level with Van Gaal’s men if we beat Southampton and win our game in hand.
“We start getting more confident, that’s what you see, playing together,” continued Klopp.
“It was a good example (United), you saw a lot of really good moments. You saw the second half when you can decide the game, we could decide the game with the second goal and go home – and we didn’t play the last part so there are a lot of things to do but I really like the passion of the boys.”
“You see how they really work. We always create chances. A few weeks, months ago we had chances but it was not so clear, it was around the box and we didn’t score and things like that – but if you play like this with a completely free man in the box, with a back-pass (pull back) and it’s clear, you have it twice and one time it’s a goal, like the Hendo situation, that’s all, so I’m pleased with this.”
Ultimately, it seems Klopp is just pleased that he can forget about Manchester-based sides for a while:
“I see a very tired team in the dressing-room, and an emotional high. If we were still in the FA Cup we would have played six games against a team from Manchester. That would have been crazy. Now Manchester is over and we can play against all the other teams.”
Are you confident of a win over Southampton? Do you think we are finally seeing what a true Klopp team will look like next summer? You can let us know your thoughts in the comments below.