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Jurgen Klopp looking for “special atmosphere” in League Cup semi-final

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hopes he can harness the power of Anfield to get his side through to their first cup final since they lost against Chelsea at Wembley in the FA Cup in 2012.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 13, 2015: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates the equaliser goal during the Premier League match against West Bromwich Albion at Anfield. (Pic by James Maloney/Propaganda)

He does not believe the players will have any problems motivating themselves for the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg against Stoke, which they go into holding a 1-0 advantage.

However, it is beyond that game where he believes motivation may be a factor.

“I am really fine with our reaction to the result in the (Norwich) game, but I didn’t like our start,” the German said.

“The first 15 minutes I have no words for and we’ve had this situation three or four times this season.

“The striking back mentality is much better than we had when we came but now we really have to find a way to start on our highest level in each game, not only in some.

“I have to find a solution of course but it is not the biggest problem in a semi-final.

“[On Tuesday] we don’t have to think about it because it is a semi-final and it will be go from the first whistle.

“We have to fight for every single ball, every single yard and that is easy.

“I’ve heard about the special atmosphere at Anfield in semi-finals and I am really looking forward to it.

“Let’s take the whole power of LFC and take it to the final.”

STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND - Tuesday, January 5, 2016: Liverpool's Jordon Ibe celebrates scoring the first goal against Stoke City with team-mates during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg match at the Britannia Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

However, Klopp does not see getting to Wembley as an achievement in itself.

“It is only a step. I never heard about second place in the Carling Cup. Does anyone know who it was four years ago?” he said.

“Reaching a final is great, but at the end it is only memorable when you win it and that is what you have to do.

“You should not waste the opportunity of winning something and I know for the players it is really important – they really want to go to the final.”

Stoke boss Mark Hughes has urged his players to grasp the historic opportunity that lies ahead of them.

If they can turn the tie around, the Staffordshire outfit would be in a League Cup final for the first time since 1971-72, the season in which they won the competition to secure what is the only major trophy in their history.

And Hughes said: “It has been 40-odd years, and we remind the players of that because this is an opportunity to make your mark in the game.

“When that presents itself, you really have to grasp it. “It is an opportunity we are not going to allow pass by lightly.

“We are going to give it everything – it is a chance for everybody involved here to achieve something that hasn’t been achieved for many years.

“And it is important to us because if we can get to a final, win a trophy, then that gives you a winning mentality – you’ve experienced that as a group and that will help you to continue to progress.

“It is a big part of what we want to do moving forward.”

Hughes admits it is a “big test” that awaits Stoke, whose last victory at Anfield came in 1959.

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