Many Liverpool supporters aren’t looking beyond the Champions League last 16 encounter with Real Madrid, but Jurgen Klopp is.
The Reds return to European action on Tuesday, with the first leg of their tie with Carlo Ancelotti’s side to be played at Anfield.
But with Liverpool struggling for any kind of consistency since their season resumed after the World Cup, many do not hold high hopes for the rest of their Champions League campaign.
The same, however, can not be said for Klopp, who referred to his team playing in the latter stages of the competition in his press conference on Friday.
“We hope we can go to the next round of the Champions League,” he said when discussing his squad options, with the likes of Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino and Virgil van Dijk recently returning from injury.
“So, it means we will have 17 [games] in the league, but two more at least in the Champions League – hopefully four, six, seven [games], or whatever, if you want to go to the final probably. So we will be ready for that.
“For that you need changes, and that was a big problem in the past when we started again [after the World Cup], it was a massive problem because we started playing immediately.
“We couldn’t change at all and had to integrate a new player, and Darwin was not fit, and all these kind of things.
“There were a lot of things but hopefully now it stays like this. That would be great because that’s what you need to get kind of consistency and performances.”
It’s been a disappointing season for Liverpool so far, but their impressive record in the Champions League under Klopp should not be forgotten.
Given their position in the Premier League table, some may even feel that going all the way in Europe will be the Reds’ best opportunity of qualifying for next season’s competition.
Klopp, though, isn’t ruling out anything.
When the prospect of Liverpool pushing for a top four finish in a similar fashion to the way in which they managed it in 2020-21 was put to the boss, his response was telling.
“Yes, yes, yes,” he said, with the look of a man who believes his team’s chances of securing Champions League football are not over.
“It would be cool, but it’s a long way away.”
We should all know by now that writing off Klopp and his Liverpool team does not end well, and if he has faith, so should we.