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Liverpool’s Klopp settles for Europa spot, wary of Spurs threat, shades United

LIVERPOOL manager Jurgen Klopp has admitted that his side would not complain if they end the Premier League season with only a UEFA Europa League ticket.

The Reds have become regular UEFA Champions League campaigners under Klopp but are well behind in the race to finish as high as fourth place this season to earn a spot in Europe’s elite club competition.

They are currently seventh, seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester United, who have a game in hand.

Liverpool host Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday needing to beat the fifth-placed side to keep their flagging Champions League hopes alive, but Klopp will settle for the Europe League, which will be secured with a fifth-placed or sixth-placed finish.

“We take what we get. It is not that we said that would be fantastic at the start of the season but this season taught us a few things. If it is Europa League, it is Europa League,” the German said during his pre-match press conference today.

“I want to play the best possible football. We have to be focused on the game coming up, that is Tottenham. What happens in the next few weeks will be very important for next season.”

Klopp watched last night as Spurs came from two goals down to hold Manchester United to a 2-2 draw and he believes his next opponents have received a shot up the arm with the appointment of Ryan Mason as caretaker manager until the end of the season.

“Last night they played a similar system to what they’ve played for a while. The mentality boost is clear, the game could have gone either way,” he explained.

“They had a massive chance at 1-0. That’s how football is, it could have have gone either way. Lots of the players who will face us played last night. That’s what we’ll prepare for.”

Liverpool are experiencing a mini-resurgence with three straight Premier League victories but Klopp is not carried away as he cheekily referenced the 7-0 annihilation of Manchester United in March.

He said: “Winning three games is not consistent, it’s good but it’s just the start.

“For me consistency is showing in performances and getting results. That’s what we work with. I’m happy with that at the moment because I’ve seen a lot of things we want to see and that’s really good and pleasing for the coach.

“As always there will be something to improve on and we’re trying to do that too.

“I’m okay with the moment, it’s not that I trust myself that we’re out of the woods but we have to stay super focused.

“This season taught us lessons that I didn’t want to learn but the most important lesson in football is getting the three points at the weekend or midweek.

“This season, if we don’t do something really special, we will be remembered for the 7-0 against Manchester United.”

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