Liverpool legend Ian Rush has moved to calm expectation at Anfield and has thrown his weight behind manager Jurgen Klopp insisting the German is ‘100%’ the man to bring success to the club.
After ending 2016 second in the table after a 1-0 win against Manchester City, the Reds have seen their form drop off a cliff with only one victory this year – against League Two Plymouth Argyle – which has led to some questions about Klopp’s future.
Liverpool, now sitting in fifth and 13 points behind league leaders Chelsea, have kissed any title chances goodbye but are just one point off fourth-placed Arsenal.
And Rush felt Klopp is suffering as a victim of his own early-season success and that competing for a Champions League place is more in line with his own expectations of the team.
“Jurgen Klopp is definitely the man to bring success to Anfield, there is no doubt about that,” said Rush – who was speaking as he surprised a local Over 35’s side – Railway Formby Vets FC – by turning out in a five-a-side match to promote the chance to win £3 Million for just £1 on The Football Pools.
“Nothing has gone wrong, it is just what happens, people have blips and Liverpool had a blip in January and there is a long way to go. 100% in my opinion he [Klopp] is the man for the job.
“At the start of the season I said if Liverpool could finish in the top four and win a major trophy then that would be a major success,” he said. “They’re not going to win a trophy this season but there is still a chance for them to make the top four so if they can do that it would be a success.”
Liverpool will host in-form Tottenham this weekend and could find themselves cut adrift from the Champions League places by four points with a loss – although Spurs haven’t won at Anfield since 2011.
And Rush warned the London club their attacking, open style of play could be just the medicine to kick-start Liverpool’s stuttering season.
“Tottenham are one of the few clubs who come to Anfield and try to win,” he added. “A lot of clubs come and just try to park the bus and that is what Liverpool sometimes find hard to break down.
“Tottenham, because they have so many great players, will try to win the game and I think that will play into Liverpool.
“Against the top clubs [Liverpool] have a good record and I am certain on Saturday it will be the game to get them back on track. I don’t think they’ll lose but Liverpool do need to start winning and it is a great game for Liverpool to get up and running again.”
With the January transfer window now closed, one less thing to worry about is the future of Daniel Sturridge with the England man remaining in Liverpool until May at least.
And Rush admitted he was delighted his fellow striker had remained at the club and predicted a big role for Sturridge during the second half of the season.
“Daniel Sturridge is probably the most gifted striker we have got,” he said. “I was made up that he didn’t go in January and I hope he is still here next year but you have got to fight for your place.
“I think he will fight for his place. One thing for certain this year is that we will need Daniel Sturridge and once he gets that chance he has to take it. And when he does take it and starts scoring again I think he’ll play a major part in Liverpool making the top four.”
Britain’s first £3 Million footballer Ian Rush is supporting the chance to win £3 Million for £1 on The Football Pools. Visit: www.footballpools.com