Football

Klopp: We will not defend EPL title next season, we will attack it

Klopp is aware of the threat posed by other clubs to newly minted EPL champions

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp says his side will not rest on their laurels next season after ending a 30-year wait to win the English Premier League.

The newly crowned winners head to deposed champions Manchester City tomorrow morning (Singapore time), looking to build on their 23-point lead at the top of the table.

Klopp warned of the threat that City, a resurgent Manchester United and Chelsea, bolstered by the signings of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech, would pose next season.

MAN CITY LIVERPOOL

However, he dismissed any notion that Liverpool will slacken off after setting a record-breaking pace to claim the title with seven games to spare this season.

"We will not defend the title next year, we will attack it," said Klopp during a video conference yesterday.

"I've learnt when you think you have reached the pinnacle, you are already on the way down.

"We don't feel that. I don't feel finally satisfied. It's another step. It's a big one, an unbelievably big one, but not the only thing I want to talk with the boys about in 20 years' time."

There were wild celebrations from Klopp, his players and Liverpool fans last Thursday when City's 2-1 defeat at Chelsea finally ended the three-decade wait.

But having had their title party delayed by three months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Klopp wants to finish the season strongly and get back in rhythm ahead of a quick turnaround into the 2020/21 campaign.

"We prepare for City with full focus," said the German.

"That doesn't mean we will beat them, but it means we are prepared. That is how we will prepare next season as well.

"We are not tired. We are just in the middle of something."

Meanwhile, Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah said he wants to remain with the multiple champions for a long time, adding that the team have developed a perfect understanding.

The Egypt international, who signed a new five-year deal in 2018, is the top scorer at the club this season with 17 EPL goals as the Reds secured a 19th top-flight title.

JOY

"I'm very happy... I can't describe my feelings after we won the league after 30 years. I can see people's joy and this is so important for all of us," Salah, 28, told beIN Sport.

"I enjoy the atmosphere here... I love this place and I hope to stay for a long time. The atmosphere here is different to any other place.

"We have adapted well as a team and our understanding is perfect. If this continues, we can achieve more. It's difficult to maintain our current level, but it's not impossible."

Salah and his fellow African players in the EPL would not face a disrupted campaign next season as the African Nations Cup, originally scheduled for January, has been postponed to 2022, announced the Confederation of African Football. - AFP, REUTERS

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