Klopp on extra pressure, forgetting Xmas & Tottenham’s poker game


 Jurgen Klopp doesn’t believe Liverpool are under any extra pressure as Premier League leaders – as he called on supporters to put their festive mood on hold at Anfield on Boxing Day  The Reds are unbeaten after 18 games and have opened up a four-point gap at the top of the table after champions Manchester City suffered a shock 3-2 home defeat to Crystal Palace at the weekend  Liverpool, who are enjoying their best-ever start to a league season, entertain former boss Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle United on Boxing Day  And Klopp is adamant the task remains the same for his players despite their strong position  “There is no pressure, I don’t see the pressure,” he said. “Yes there is pressure because we want to win against Newcastle and that is difficult enough  “But if I saw someone in a pre-match interview asking a player about May and stuff like that, I would take the mic and throw it somewhere  “We have to play football, not think about what we can do in the summer.  “If we are not first in the table on January 3 (when Liverpool are at City) for example then we would probably have lost a game Does that mean that everything we have done so far is s***? Video Loading Video Unavailable Click to play Tap to play The video will start in 8Cancel Play now  “If we lose a game one day and everybody immediately starts saying we showed we cannot deal with the pressure, there are still 17 games to go or whatever  “I’m completely relaxed with the situation in this moment. I’m not too relaxed around the games, I am really on my toes I would say, but there is no extra pressure on us because of a four-point gap ”  Klopp, who welcomes Trent Alexander-Arnold back into contention, revealed that while City’s surprise loss – which came the day after Liverpool had won 2-0 at Wolverhampton Wanderers – prompted an excited reaction from friends and family, he was more considered  “I didn’t expect that City lose against Crystal Palace, of course not,” he said  “People who are emotionally involved such as friends, when they saw City lose 3-2 I got all these messages saying ‘wow, unbelievable, blah blah blah’ But I don’t even feel it.  “There are still 20 games to play. I’m a sportsman since I was five years old, running races, and if you think after 300m ‘I have him’ then you are silly and you will never win  “Why should you even think about it? Why should you think before you’ve won something that you may win something? We are not children any more ”  Tottenham Hotspur’s emphatic 6-2 win at Everton on Sunday means there are three top-flight teams to reach the 40-point mark by Christmas for the first time since 1985  And Klopp believes the Londoners can no longer fly under the radar as he welcomed them as genuine title rivals  “How can anyone forget Tottenham?” he said. “They said it themselves that everybody is talking about the other two, and that’s a nice situation  “For us, we don’t do favours for anybody. You (the media) do sometimes because you speak only about us and City and give Tottenham the chance to come out of the shadows Video Loading Video Unavailable Click to play Tap to play The video will start in 8Cancel Play now  “We don’t have to think about other teams Other teams don’t think about us. If they do, that will never help. These kind of poker games we don’t play ”  Four of Liverpool’s next six Premier League games are at Anfield, where they have dropped just two points and conceded only two top-flight goals this season  And Klopp believes the backing of Reds fans will be needed on Wednesday against a Newcastle side who have been beaten only by Manchester City and United on their travels this season  “It is a very important game,” he said. “Everybody is in a Christmas mood apart from us Everybody in England wants Boxing Day games.  “Then don’t be in a Christmas mood on the 26th and come in for those one-and-a-half hours and give all that you have because we need again an exceptional atmosphere to beat a very difficult to beat team  “After that, Arsenal is coming. You don’t have to go home after the Newcastle game, you can stay in the stadium because they are coming It’s a very intense time, let’s enjoy it as we have done all the time, and it can be good, or not  “Nothing is taken for granted. That’s the moment when things go wrong.”

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