By Carl Markham, PA
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists he has not become a bad coach overnight but will not think about his legacy at the club until he has retired.
Inconsistent results this season have left his side ninth in the Premier League table, 10 points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester United with a match in hand, having already relinquished their hold on the Carabao Cup.
But last season they were two games away from winning an unprecedented quadruple and Klopp is keen to put things in perspective.
“I knew it would be difficult, absolutely. Last year was super-intense, much longer than we could have expected because who expects to get into four finals?” he said.
“That it would be difficult was clear but with lesser injuries we could easily have four or five points more.
“We still don’t play a brilliant season but we would be around fighting for the Champions League and that’s a normal season.
“I didn’t become a bad manager overnight; I was never as good as people probably said and not as bad as some people might think.
“But imagine we win all four and I say, ‘see you all later’. Imagine you see a different face here and he tells you all these things. No one would listen.
“It’s tough, I’m sorry, but we will go for it with all we have to get out of it and then to do it in a way that people can’t wait to go to the stadium again.
“How you behave and how you deal with the situation in these moments decides about the future as well.”
With the club flying high last season Klopp signed a new contract in April, extending his stay at Anfield until 2026.
Since arriving in October 2015 the German has won every club trophy available, including a sixth Champions League and a first league title in 30 years.
But he has no intention of dwelling on those successes.
“Legacy? Ten years, 20 years you will look back and say it was absolutely great, and I enjoyed it and there was a final here and it was close there,” he added ahead of the FA Cup trip to Brighton.
“Who cares about that now? I couldn’t care less. I don’t think for a second that we won the Champions League. In years (to come) I will think about it.
“The tough stuff is to explain something which is not very positive. But who wants to have these conversations because it sounds like excuses – which I don’t go for.”