Liverpool boss, Jurgen Klopp, says he feels for fans who are rooting against the Reds to win their first English top-flight title in almost 30 years, claiming he is not surprised to see people in Manchester praying for his side’s downfall.
The Reds have a four-point advantage at the top of the Premier League table heading into Saturday’s clash with Crystal Palace. With Manchester City playing on Sunday, Liverpool once again have the opportunity to extend their lead to seven points and put pressure on the defending champions.
Despite maintaining their dominant presence in the English first-division, Liverpool have not won a league title since 1989-90, meaning the Reds are yet to win the Premier League in its newest format.
This season, it somehow feels different. Jurgen Klopp’s side have been absolutely brilliant so far this season, and have deservedly emerged as one of the title favorites. Scoring 50 and conceding just 10, they also are the meanest side in the division, which has made their claim to the throne even more prominent.
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However, while most of the fans have lauded Liverpool’s efforts, a section of English football supporters have prayed for their downfall, hoping for Manchester City to defend their crown.
The German has been left baffled by the negativity and says he has sympathy for people who rejoice in someone else’s despair.
Klopp isn't a fan of the haters!
Are you someone who'd take delight in Liverpool not winning the Premier League? 😈 pic.twitter.com/FgvPegFD6Q
— Goal (@goal) January 19, 2019
“I never thought about that. I love winning because of winning and not because someone else has to lose,” Klopp said of creating an ‘us against the world’ mentality, as quoted by .
“I cannot take a personal boost from winning and thinking they lost. I am not like that.”
“If people think like that and gain something out of the fact that we will not win the league, I feel for them. I cannot use them for motivation because they are not people I am interested in, to be honest.”
“It is a waste of time for me to think of anybody losing something. If you win it, you win it, and you deserve to. ‘Congratulations. Carry on.’ That is how I see it.”
The 51-year-old believes even Everton fans would not mind seeing Liverpool winning the league title, given they are not in the title race themselves.
The former Borussia Dortmund coach feels most of his side’s haters are from Manchester – home to their bitterest rivals, Manchester United, and reigning champion, Manchester City.
“I don’t know who thinks like that about us, but probably in Manchester, there are not a lot of Liverpool supporters,” Klopp added.
“Unfortunately I don’t know enough people in England and the people I do know – even if they are Evertonians and know me personally – they think ‘if not us, then you can win it’. It is still Liverpool [the city].”
“But it is not a surprise that people in Manchester might not want us to win it!” he concluded.
After this weekend, will Liverpool's Premier League lead be:
Or something else entirely? pic.twitter.com/4jTxSEHG0M
— Goal (@goal) January 19, 2019
The Reds came agonizingly close to ending their Premier League drought in 2013/14 under Brendan Rodgers but were ultimately pipped to the title by Manchester City. This Liverpool side, however, have exhibited more quality and doggedness than Rodgers’ side, and probably have enough to finally go all the way.