Jurgen Klopp focused on race for top four

Watford v Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp says he will only concentrate on his own side as the Premier League’s top-four race hots up.

While Manchester City in fourth are only behind Liverpool on goal difference, and United just a further point adrift, Klopp remains confident his players can get the job done.

“It is all about us. We cannot have 100% influence on it but always in football it makes sense to focus on your own games and at the end you have to see what it was for,” he said.

“We have to do our job another four times and we will see. It is not frustrating. I cannot change the results we had... not the good ones or the bad ones.”

When Liverpool hammered Watford 6-1 at Anfield back in November, the win took them top of the Premier League. Since then injuries have scuppered their title bid, but with a top-four place still to play for, Klopp said the stakes were still high.

“Is there more pressure? No,” he said. “It’s the pressure you create by your performances and if we would have now 50-something points we would fight for nothing.

“Will there come pressure? Yeah, of course, on Monday before the game, nobody will feel like it is a friendly game, it’s a very important game. We need to be ready for this but we were often enough ready for this so nobody should be in doubt that we will fight there.

“In this moment, everything for us is possible, and that’s what we should try to show.”

Liverpool are set to be boosted by the return of midfielder Adam Lallana, who has been out since sustaining a groin injury playing for England on March 26. Striker Daniel Sturridge is back in training after missing last weekend’s home defeat to Crystal Palace with a sore hip.

Walter Mazzarri will not worry about what victory for his Watford side at Vicarage Road tonight might do to Liverpool’s top-four ambitions. The Hornets host Liverpool in the relative safety of mid-table, already having reached the 40-point barrier which has traditionally proved enough to stay clear of trouble.

Mazzarri, though, has no intentions of letting any of his players take their eye off the ball over the run-in.

With fixtures still to come against Everton and Manchester City, Watford could well have a big say in the race for European qualification.

However, the Italian coach is not concerning himself with anything other than producing the required response to last weekend’s disappointing 2-0 defeat at relegation-battlers Hull.

“I am not looking at other people’s problems with the table. I am only interested in my team,” said Mazzarri.

“I want them to fight for every ball and to concentrate lots.”

The Watford boss added: “I want my players go on the pitch thinking they are in the Champions League final and then we will see afterwards how we have done.”

It has been something of an inconsistent campaign from the Hornets, who have endured plenty of injury problems yet managed to stay clear of being embroiled in the survival battle.

A run of three wins in the past five matches has all but staved off any relegation fears.

Watford were thrashed 6-1 by Liverpool at Anfield earlier in the season, when the Reds were looking set for a sustained title challenge which has gradually faded.

Goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes warned the Hornets could be stung again if they do not go into Monday night’s match with the right mindset.

“If we don’t approach the game well, we could have another heavy defeat. But we are able to do great things as well,” said Gomes, quoted by the Hertfordshire Mercury.

“We are able to compete, we have shown that so many times this season.

“We have reached 40 points, not just getting points against teams that are below us, we got some from the teams that are above us, which is important.”

Gomes added: “We have to react every time things go wrong, we did that a few times this season and we have to do it again on Monday.”


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