‘We are ready to make life uncomfortable for them’: Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp sends message to Leeds ahead of Anfield clash
Jurgen Klopp has warned Leeds to brace themselves for their return to the big time as he promised Liverpool attack their title defence.
Liverpool have not lost a Premier League home game since April 2017 but Marcelo Bielsa is determined to blow that record to smithereens and marking his club’s first top-flight game in 16 years with a win. He believes the fact Anfield will be empty can work in Leeds’s favour.
But Klopp, while fully admiring of the work Bielsa did to secure promotion for Leeds, is not anticipating that Liverpool’s first campaign as champions since 1990 will start on a flat note and made it clear his players are in the mood to make an early statement.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has sent a warning to Leeds ahead of the game at Anfield
‘I respect a lot what Leeds do, but there is an important point,’ said Klopp. ‘I know Marcelo said Anfield is not Anfield without supporters and he is right, in one way. But it is still Anfield, by the way. It is our home and we are Liverpool.
‘That should not sound like a threat but they did not play us very often before and it should feel different for them as well. It is not decided before the game. Good. That is football. We are ready to work hard and make life more uncomfortable for them than any team last year could against them.
‘If we do not, we will suffer. That is what we have to know. It is the first game of the season and it sounds like it is a big advantage for Leeds because they waited so long for the Premier League, now everything is new and they are fighting for everything and we are champions, so we lean back!
Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa insisted that Anfield is not quite the same without supporters
‘For as long as I breathe we will not be like this. That is the thing we have to make sure of in this game. It must be the most intense game Leeds ever had, otherwise we will have more problems than I want to have.’
Klopp, who would not elaborate on discussions he held with Barcelona target Gini Wijnaldum, was in a bullish mood on Friday and revealed how he ended up waking Sir Alex Ferguson with an impromptu text message the night Liverpool were crowned champions in June.
Klopp revealed that he received a text from Sir Alex Ferguson when Liverpool won the league
‘I didn’t call him, I should clarify that,’ said Klopp. ‘I sent him a message. The problem was that I came back late in my room that night, obviously, and I couldn’t sleep immediately so I went through the messages I got and one of them was from Alex Ferguson.
‘I just replied in a very polite way, I think! It was about 3.30am-4am and I didn’t expect him to have his phone next to his bed. I didn’t want to wake him up. If that happened then sorry Alex! But since then we have not been in contact. He is still the former Man United manager.
‘I don’t think he wants to talk to me too much about the success of Liverpool. He respects it but it’s not his favourite thing to watch on television!’.