Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes there is no psychological advantage to be gained from being Premier League leaders in November.
The Reds overtook Manchester City the weekend before the international break with a 6-1 demolition of Watford.
Many felt it was a statement of intent for the club to reach top spot for the first time since May 2014, when they were pipped to a long-awaited title by City.
Klopp, however, takes a much more long-term view of recent events. “I am pretty sure early in the season the other teams knew already we were not the worst team in the Premier League,” he said.
“I shouldn’t sound too confident but I have no idea what they (opponents) think and I don’t care.
“We try to do our job and we have done it until now and we have to do it in the next few weeks, which will be very intensive.
“We don’t have to think about it, what they do, we have to think about what we do.
“All what we do in December, January, February is preparing and creating a basis for the rest of the season.
“Nothing is decided. Teams maybe want to be champion but end up sixth because they played a good season but so many other teams played a very good season.”
Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 12 matches in all competitions since losing to Burnley on August 20. During that time they have taken 23 points out of a possible 27 and are on a run of three successive victories so Klopp probably did not want the inconvenience of an international break.
However, he refused to make any excuses about what potential effect – influential playmaker Philippe Coutinho returned from Brazil with a minor hamstring problem – it may have ahead of Saturday’s trip to Southampton.
“Southampton is the next hurdle to jump over,” he added. “Momentum is something you can talk about after the game and then we can say we have to use the momentum again but nobody knows how it works.
“What’s momentum before the game? Let’s try to do our best, let’s try to play football, let’s try to do what we spoke about, let’s try to use what we saw when we prepared for the game and all that stuff.
“The momentum is not something you have to talk about before the game so I don’t think about it. It’s the same situation for all the other teams too.
“I only try to describe our situation because you asked about difficulties ahead of this game but it’s the same for all the teams – even Southampton: (Jose) Fonte played for Portugal, I don’t know where, they have a lot of players who were on the road too so it’s no advantage, no disadvantage, it’s like it is.
“After international breaks it’s a special situation. Usually you have the players here, you can see how they feel, but even then they can get injuries in training.
“But it feels different when you see them playing and cannot see them playing.”