Jurgen Klopp urges “focus on the league” – Virgil van Dijk says “we need the fans”

Jurgen Klopp and Virgil van Dijk have looked to quickly turn the focus after Liverpool’s exit from the Europa League, with the goal to “focus on the league.”

Over the last month, Liverpool have seen ambitious hopes of a quadruple collapse, knocked out of the FA Cup and now the Europa League.

Though the Carabao Cup is already in the bag, their chances of lifting the Premier League took a major hit at the weekend, too, as the Reds lost to Crystal Palace.

But after a 3-1 aggregate defeat to Atalanta – which came after a 1-0 win in Bergamo on Thursday night – the league is all Liverpool have left to play for.

No surprise, then, that Van Dijk asked supporters to help the players give their all in the final six games.

“We have to very quickly turn this around, recover, and travel to London on Saturday [to play Fulham on Sunday],” the captain told TNT Sports.

“We need everyone for that last push as well, and that’s the feeling that I’m getting already now.”

Van Dijk clung to the positives – in that “obviously we won and we kept the clean sheet” – but accepted that exiting the Europa League left a “bad feeling.”

“What we have to do is get back up,” he continued.

The Dutchman added: “That’s the aim now. Obviously everyone feels disappointed, I feel disappointed, but we don’t have a lot of time to be disappointed.

“Hopefully our fans will be there again, I’ve got no doubt. We need them more than ever for the last six games of the season, where anything is still possible.”

BERGAMO, ITALY - Thursday, April 18, 2024: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah walks past manager Jürgen Klopp as he is substituted during the UEFA Europa League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg match between BC Atalanta and Liverpool FC at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Also speaking to TNT Sports, Klopp took a similar view to his centre-back, insisting that his side produced “the reaction we wanted to show” but they were left with a bitter taste.

“Atalanta deserves to go through, 100 percent, that’s fine,” the manager said.

“We can now focus on the league. That’s what we’ll do from exactly now on.”

Klopp continued: “Tonight we won the game, so back to winning ways, now we have two-and-a-half-ish days’ time to make sure we recover to go against Fulham, which will be a tricky one, a completely different game but tricky.

“We have to see who can go again. But this tonight was the reaction we had to show, and the boys showed [it]. I’m not surprised, they always do that.

“Obviously a bit mixed emotions, I’m disappointed we are out, but I’m happy with big parts of the game. That’s it, pretty much.

“Let’s put a line under this competition. We would have wished, for our people, that we go to Dublin, but that now didn’t happen.

“Now we have one competition left and we throw everything have into that.”