Jurgen Klopp insists the impending Capital One Cup final will not impact on Liverpool’s Europa League progress.
A goalless draw in Augsburg puts huge significance on their last-32 second leg chances next Thursday, just three days before they face Manchester City in the Capital One Cup final.
After naming an unchanged team in Germany for the first time in his 30 matches in charge Klopp accepts he may have to make alterations for the home leg – even though Liverpool have a weekend off as they are not involved in the FA Cup – but that will not deflect from the importance of the game.
“A strong a team in the second leg? Yes. I think so, maybe it’s a different team, but we should not think too much about the final,” said the former Borussia Dortmund coach after the return to his homeland for the first time fell flat.
“I will not ignore it (the final) of course but it doesn’t complicate my plans.
“We should be concentrated Thursday and Sunday will take care of itself.
“The players didn’t underestimate Augsburg, when we play in the return we will be very well prepared – they may not be Munich or Paris, but we will be very well prepared.
“We need to improve on things. We have a big final ahead of us.”
Striker Daniel Sturridge had the best chance early in the second half but fluffed his kick six yards out but other than that there were too few opportunities created to test Marwin Hitz.
“It’s not too easy to find the right words. I could say it’s a draw, 0-0 away game, everything is ‘Okay, we can win at home, everything’s cool’, but in our situation I’m always interested in the performance,” added Klopp.
“We had great chances early on, good moments, good passing in second half, but other moments I wasn’t happy with – it’s 0-0 but I am not 100 per cent satisfied.
“Doing the right thing at the right moment is important – we had a few good moments and in the second half we had three or four really good moves.
“My problem is that I think, with our quality, we should do better, but I have to be patient.
“I could say ‘0-0 top result, let’s go home’ but it’s important we speak about this as a team as things could improve.”