Klopp makes Liverpool pledge: ‘We will not defend title next season’

Joe Williams

Jurgen Klopp feels it will be a “nice gesture” when Liverpool receive a guard of honour from Manchester City on Thursday night, but one he is not concerned about after securing the Premier League title.

Pep Guardiola has confirmed his City side will observe the tradition after their defeat at Chelsea last week handed Liverpool the trophy.

“I’m not sure if I ever got one, I don’t know that it’s a tradition in Germany but it’s an English tradition,” Klopp said.

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“It’s a nice gesture, 100 per cent, but I wouldn’t need it to be honest because we go there to play a football game and we want to win the football game, not to celebrate something that happened a week before.”

Klopp’s Liverpool side sit 23 points clear at the top of the Premier League and still have the opportunity to break City’s record of 100 points from 2017-18.

But Klopp expects City – along with the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Leicester, Arsenal and Tottenham – to put up a much bigger fight next season.

“We will not defend the title next season, we will attack the next one,” he said. “I have learned that when you think you have reached the pinnacle you are already on the way down.

“We don’t feel that. I don’t feel satisfied. This is just another step, a big one, an unbelievably big one, but it’s not the only thing I want to talk to the boys about when I meet them in 20 years’ time.”