Liverpool must 'stay angry' and keep fighting - Jurgen Klopp
LIVERPOOL -- Jurgen Klopp says his Liverpool players must show they can string back-to-back performances together at Crystal Palace on Sunday, as they enter what he is calling the "most important" part of the season.
The Premier League encounter in south London follows Wednesday's 3-0 home win over Manchester City and Klopp is hoping for a consistency that he admits has not been a hallmark of Liverpool this season.
Klopp said he was not thinking about a Champions League place, despite Liverpool being six points behind fourth-placed City. But he repeated his suggestion after last Sunday's League Cup final defeat by City on penalties that his players should "stay angry."
"It's not a problem, six points is not the world," said Klopp. "What I'd like to say is take each point [at a time], but we have to show it. Consistency was not our hobby until now this season, so we have to improve this part of our game.
"In our last few games we were not at our worst and scored a lot of goals -- OK, in different tournaments.
"Now it's Crystal Palace, I haven't forgotten the first game, we lost to them at home and now we need to take the points back.
"This is the most important moment of the league season -- the last few weeks are preparation for this moment. Our starting position isn't a masterclass but we are still in a good enough position to achieve something.
"I don't think about the top four but we should really get as many points as we can. Starting with Crystal Palace."
The manager rejected the notion that Palace were currently the top flight's worst side, with a league table of results since Christmas that would have placed them bottom. He argued that they had struggled without Yannick Bolasie and had benefited from his recent return.
"It [their poor run] was without Bolasie, then the last two games he changed the game -- he's a form striker, a quality player together with [Wilfried] Zaha," Klopp said.
"I know about the situation but it changed a little bit. I would like to say they have no self-confidence, but that is not the truth. I'm not too interested -- we have to show we are ready for this game. It's not an easy place to collect points.
"We only have to prepare ourselves for the special questions of Crystal Palace with who is available."
Asked how he could find consistency, Klopp said: "We have shown them what was good up to now, but consistency is not overnight. They did not always play bad after a good game, but sometimes [they played well] in different tournaments.
"Now we have two tournaments left and we can really concentrate on these. We were not too consistent up to now, that's why we are not in a higher position in the league. We need to stay angry.
"[Wednesday] was satisfying but that was two days ago. I was never in doubt we can do things like that but it's not often enough. We have to perform all the time, that's our job.
"We now understand a bit more what everyone wants, I from them, them from me."
Tom is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. Follow him @writertombell.