Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has revealed that Jurgen Klopp was “adamant” Liverpool would surpass last season’s 97-point form to ensure they pip Man City to the title.
The Reds are currently top of the Premier League with 82 points taken from their first 29 games, with a possible 27 more to play for to reach a potential tally of 109.
This would be a record-breaking feat, with Liverpool having already broken many of their way to a near-guaranteed title—though when, or how, they will clinch it is now up in the air.
Klopp will be hoping his side can hit the ground running again once the campaign resumes, having issued a challenge to his side after their disappointment of finishing second in 2018/19.
“How do you get 97 points and finish off second best? That, mentally for the lads, I think was a big challenge,” Oxlade-Chamberlain explained in an interview with Ian Wright.
“You almost can’t get a more perfect season. You might have, you know, the season before City obviously got 100 points.
“So we’re talking one game, one win difference—you expect to win with that.
“So, I think first of all it was sort of another heightened respect for Man City as a team, to go 100 points and then 98 back to back, that takes a lot of doing.
“Mentally, as a group of players, I think that’s maybe where we thought, ‘alright, 97 points [is] not good enough’, and I remember the manager saying we’ve got to do more. Simple as that.
“He was adamant that’s not enough, you’ve got to do more, and I think it’s a credit to us in what we’ve done so far this season.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain also touched upon the current situation, and how it could affect Liverpool’s momentum as, at this rate, they are unlikely to have played for three months when they return.
But he praised the attitude of the squad, its leaders and its hard-working “superstars” such as Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino as he warned “we’ve got a job to finish.”
“I’m really proud of us as a group of lads that we’ve achieved that and the manager as well, the whole club, the backroom staff, they are the same,” he continued.
“I’ve seen everyone pushing even harder this year, and that’s what the manager’s created, it’s people like Jordan Henderson, leaders in the team, Milly, that’s what they help create, and we’ve got an amazing group of players.
“There’s not one ego in that team. Our superstars are the hardest working, the most humble and the most relatable guys in the team.
“Along with industry and the relationship that everyone has, I think that makes it easier for us all to pull in the right direction.
“At the minute we’ve been doing that but whenever we’re able to kick off again we’ve got a job to finish so we can’t get carried away yet.”