Jurgen Klopp says there will be no retribution for the Jordan Pickford challenge which ended Virgil van Dijk’s season… despite strong emotions running through his team.
But the Liverpool boss confessed that his players “are all human beings”, who did react passionately immediately after the Mersey derby back in September, which left him glad there has been a long gap between the showdowns with Everton.
“A week, two, three weeks later when we got the (Van Dijk injury) diagnosis it was good that we didn’t play Everton immediately again, let me say it like this,” he explained going into the return at Anfield this weekend.
“We are all human beings and of course it was not nice, but now it is long gone. Nothing will be carried over. We just don’t think about that any more.
“But it is still a derby and that is enough to be motivated on the absolutely highest level, and trying to play the best possible football you can play. That’s it pretty much.”
Klopp claimed after the derby at Goodison that Pickford should have been sent off for the challenge on van Dijk.
Everton striker Richarlison was dismissed for another bad challenge, on Thiago, which kept the midfielder out for almost three months.
And when asked if he will look back on that game as the turning point in Liverpool’s season, the manager said:
“I don’t know what I will think back when the season is over, to be honest. I hope I will think of something nicer than this. It was an important day, for sure.”
He insisted though, that his side must now channel their emotions – however strong – in the right way, to gain revenge against the old enemy in the right way.
“We play the way we play. It is very emotional, but we always are emotional. That is our way to play. What the other team does, I have no influence. Nothing to say about that,” he added.
“We are prepared for a football game – a derby – like we always did. Nobody can ever say this team was not ready for derbies from an attitude point of view, or from an understanding point of view.
“This team always was, and will be (ready) tomorrow. There are stories around, but I have nothing to say.”