Jurgen Klopp says not all of his Liverpool side “are kids anymore” and has urged them to put pressure on the sides above them in the Premier League.
The Reds have had an awful season in the Premier League with the Reds currently sitting eighth in the table with 16 matches to play.
But they recently showed a bit of form with back-to-back Premier League wins over Everton and high-flying Newcastle United.
Despite their heavy 5-2 loss to Real Madrid in midweek, Klopp is hoping that his side can demonstrate their maturity levels when they face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
Klopp told reporters at his pre-match press conference on Friday: “Not all of them are kids anymore. They know how to deal with it. It’s not their first setback. In a tricky Premier League season, we have to turn around and get around the corner. We have to chase everybody. They need to smell our breath.”
There has been criticism of Klopp and the Liverpool recruitment department over their failure to sign a new midfielder in the January transfer window.
Klopp knows improvements must be made in the summer, he said: “I don’t say that what everyone says around us is wrong but a lot of it is not right either. It’s clear that we have to do something in the summer, that is clear.
“We’re all influenced by things recently but we’re not that dumb. It’s clear this team has a wonderful history and the way this club is led not splashing money, our transfers always have to be on point. That makes it tricky. I knew that.
“It’s one of the reasons I signed a new contract [to build new team]. Last season was not one for a big change. If you want a big change, at this club you cannot make loads of changes and realise no-one wants to leave.”
Klopp was full of praise for Crystal Palace ahead of the match, he added: “We should not involve the Wolves game already or consider the three points already in our pocket. Palace performance-wise look much better. Really talented team. Lot of technique and speed on the pitch. I respect it a lot.”
On their second-half performance against Real Madrid in the Champions League, Klopp continued: “The second half had worst start for us. What I saw was a lot of things are back but not stable yet. It was a night which wasn’t helpful but we have to work with it. We prepare for two days and again today. Hopefully we learn the right things.”