High on confidence after their emphatic 5-0 win over FC Porto in their Champions League last-16 first leg, which was preceded by an impressive 2-0 win at Southampton, Liverpool is all set to host West Ham United at Anfield on Saturday.
However, manager Jürgen Klopp said that there is no chance of complacency and that his team would fight it hard.
“You see the smiles on the training ground but we are concentrating really hard on our tactical things and trying to bring that on the pitch,” said Klopp, according to www.liverpoolfc.com.
“I don’t go into the dressing room every day and say ‘don’t forget’. We have done the tactical stuff outside already so they are aware of the strengths of West Ham, for sure. It’s about doing the right things in the right moments. We have an important meeting on Saturday before the game to make them finally ready. They are in a good moment, that’s good, but now we have to mix it with a real fighting spirit,” said the Liverpool manager, who was in all praise for Roberto Firmino, who has just missed two of the team’s 39 games across every competition this season and has scored 21 goals in the process.
Talking about Firmino, who was given a break during last week’s training camp in Marbella, Klopp said, “Roberto is a pure footballer, he wants to play and he wants to work. For one session in Marbella I took him out and said ‘thank you’ because he doesn’t rest so I have to do it for him. Some players feel a bit less good and slow down but he can’t do that. I think he feels best when he is on the pitch and hopefully it stays like this.”
Meanwhile, Firmino has urged Liverpool to ‘keep the focus’ and continue their fine recent form. “We’ve started the month of February in good form,” the Brazil international told Liverpoolfc.com, adding, “We won two matches away from home – one in the league, one in the Champions League – and I hope that we can keep the focus to achieve our objectives and that we are able to give our best on the pitch to achieve the aim of getting wins.”