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Exclusive: Klopp ready for ‘Last Dance’ with Liverpool as title race heats up

Exclusive: Klopp ready for ‘Last Dance’ with Liverpool as title race heats up

Jurgen Klopp has told TNT Sports that his final season in charge of Liverpool does feel like the “Last Dance” but refused to label his team as the favourites to win the Premier League title.

In an exclusive interview ahead of Liverpool’s vital match against Sheffield United on Thursday night, which is part of a huge week of Premier League action live on TNT Sports and discovery+, Klopp was in great spirits but was in no way getting ahead of himself.

Fellow Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold has said he feels this term compares to the “Last Dance”, with reference to Michael Jordan’s final season with the Chicago Bulls.

Although Klopp said he is not getting caught up in the emotions of his final stages on Merseyside, he acknowledged that it has been a fantastic journey with his group of players.

“Trent and Virgil are good examples, we went through a lot together, like Robbo [Andy Robertson], Alli [Alisson] and Joey [Joe Gomez] and others, so I want it as much for them as they want it for me, but in the end it’s for the people, and that’s how it is,” Klopp said.

“Let’s give it a proper try and that’s all we can do. Yes this might be a little like the Last Dance but a lot of dances are coming up, we better focus on all of them until the final matchday and that’s what we will do.

“The relationship between the boys and me is absolutely outstanding, it always was, every moment, that’s how it is.”

He added: “I’m so happy that we could write so many stories here on a personal level and on a club level. The club is in a good moment, the team plays good football, we just have to do that another 14 times and then everything is fine.”

Those words show the close bond between manager and players, and the burning desire to finish the season strongly.

It is gearing up to be one of the most dramatic climaxes to a Premier League season ever, with three teams battling it out to be crowned champions.

Following the goalless draw between Manchester City and Arsenal on the weekend, many have tipped Liverpool as the favourites to win their second Premier League crown but Klopp said all three teams can still win the title and he is just enjoying being in the race.

He explained: “It just feels like we are in the middle of a race, part of a race, we are two or three metres ahead, but the finishing line isn’t in sight really…

“I feel good about the situation, the team, the way we play, so many things I like, but being two points above whoever is nothing I’m really thinking about.

“Being in the title race, it’s the best place to be, to be honest, because everyone is dreaming of something like that. It’s good, it’s the result of the football the boys of played.”

Klopp continued: “I can’t see our schedule being easy. We play tomorrow, Sunday, Thursday, Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday at 12.30. I can’t see where this is easy.

“We have to get through these types of periods but there’s nothing decided and everybody knows that. All three want to win it and we will see who can do it.”

The Reds started the week at the top of the table after coming from behind once again to claim a vital 2-1 win over Brighton at Anfield on Sunday.

Klopp said he was proud of how his team reacted to the early setback especially after many of his players had been active on international duty the previous week.

“There must be space for failure and mistakes, it’s all how you see it,” he said. “[Our] last game is a very good example because I wouldn’t say I was surprised but I was happy with the way we reacted because we were two weeks, all over the world in different countries playing different football.

“After 90 seconds, we were 1-0 down against a really good football team but I liked the reaction during the first half then we could re-adjust a little bit at half-time and then we were [ourselves] again.

“It was a pretty tight win but it still counts. I’m really pleased with that so being in a title race, it’s the best place to because everybody is dreaming of something like that when the season starts.

“It’s a result of the football that the boys played over the season so far.”

Every game is massive for Liverpool right now but this is in particular a huge week, with Manchester United at Old Trafford following their home game against The Blades.

However, Klopp said it would be a huge mistake to disregard their match against Chris Wilder’s team as they look to continue momentum into the latter stages of the campaign.

He said: “A banana skin is a banana skin if you let it be a banana skin, so it’s all about us, how do we approach this game, and if we play to our absolute top level then it will be difficult for Sheffield [United], but if not, the door is immediately open for them.

“Especially with the expectation around, so we need to have a performance like we would against say Man City for example, exactly the same attitude, that’s what we need.”

The finishing line might not be in sight just yet for Klopp but the dream send-off is very much a possibility for the Liverpool players and fans.

The time for sentiment and memories isn’t far off either, it’s just too soon for the Liverpool manager, who remains totally focused on the job in hand.

He said: “I do cherish every minute, so I don’t have to change in that department, but I’m not emotional yet, I’m not sentimental, there’s a job to do, I have to be professional and I am.”

TNT Sports presents the premium live sports rights previously carried by BT Sport including the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Conference League, Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Investec Champions Cup, EPCR Challenge Cup, MotoGP, Cricket, UFC, Boxing and WWE. The streaming home for TNT Sports in the UK is discovery+, where fans can enjoy a subscription that includes TNT Sports, Eurosport and entertainment in one destination. You can also watch TNT Sports through BT, EE, Sky, and Virgin Media.

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