Jurgen Klopp admits Liverpool need to prove themselves worthy of European football

Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool still have to prove themselves worthy of European football next season, despite boosting their qualification hopes with consecutive Premier League victories.

The Reds go into Wednesday’s away fixture at West Ham in seventh place after wins over Leeds and Nottingham Forest ended a run of four league games without a win, leaving them three points adrift of Tottenham in fifth but nine behind Manchester United in fifth. fourth.

But with Brighton lurking a point down – with two games to spare – Klopp knows there is still a lot of work to do in a season where lack of consistency has too often been Liverpool’s undoing.

“Nothing,” said Klopp when asked what Liverpool had shown with their last two results. “You could say the same about West Ham, they’ve found their feet too, so let’s see.

“We still have to prove ourselves. You can’t talk about consistency when you win two games, especially when you win the second like we did (a 3-2 win at Nottingham Forest) where the defense was less than perfect…

“We must continue like this. There have been a lot of things I’ve enjoyed in the last two, two and a half games and that’s what we have to continue. We have to make sure that it’s not too hard for people to look at us, that they like us again.

Diogo Jota scored four goals in those two victories, his first goals for Liverpool in a season marred by a calf injury.

“He’s just recovered,” Klopp said of the Portuguese striker. “He is an outstanding player.

Diogo Jota (right) celebrates goal

Diogo Jota (right) has scored four goals in Liverpool’s last two wins (Peter Byrne/PA)

Since Diogo joined us, he has done outstanding things for us. He’s super smart, he can play in many different positions, he has super interesting skills for an offensive player.

“He’s not the tallest but an extreme threat in the air, his timing is great, he can finish with either foot which is extremely useful and he has the speed.

“Diogo had a bad injury this season, which held him back, nothing else. If he stays fit he’s an outstanding player.

“When you’re injured you need pace. It’s an ongoing season and no one is waiting for you, that’s the hardest thing.

“Now it’s really great that he was able to score these goals because they were all – to us – super important.”

Liverpool’s trip to east London could be badly timed, with West Ham regaining form in their fight against relegation.

David Moyes’ side are unbeaten in their last four in all competitions, a run which included a 2-2 draw with leaders Arsenal, a win over Gent in the Europa Conference League and Sunday’s 4-0 defeat by Bournemouth.

Klopp said he expected a difficult night, but joked that he’d been rooting for Moyes all season since being told in the summer that the former Everton and Manchester United boss was – before the appointments of Julen Lopetegui and Roy Hodgson – the only manager older than him in the Premier League.

“I don’t look at other clubs much… but I liked this one in particular because if West Have sacked David Moyes I would be the most senior manager in the Premier League and I wanted to avoid that,” said Klopp.

“Someone told me before the season that I was the second oldest manager. David was the eldest, so fingers crossed for West Ham since then. David must stay!

Klopp also said he was happy that the process of appointing the new sporting director is moving in the right direction.

Julian Ward will step down at the end of the season, just 12 months after replacing Michael Edwards.

Liverpool players celebrate

Liverpool hope to build on last two Premier League victories (Peter Byrne/PA)

“I’m not involved in the interviews (with possible candidates) but in the interviews about (who to pursue), so yes,” Klopp said.

“I’m not the person in the club who can give a real answer on where he is. It’s in other people’s hands, but from what I’ve heard, everything is going in the right direction…

“I am happy with the facility. The guy or lady we get will be absolutely right, but nothing to say right now.

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