LIVERPOOL, England (Reuters) - Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp will tell his team to create their own chapter in the club’s rich European history when they face Manchester City in Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg.
Liverpool have won five European Cups, most recently in 2005, and Anfield has seen many memorable nights in continental competition.
Klopp, however, said he would make no use of the club’s past as he seeks to motivate his players for the two-legged tie against the Premier League leaders.
“I like these things. These are cool. But this club is already so full of history,” he told a news conference.
“I meet people every day who can tell me about goals Liverpool have scored 36 years ago in the 57th minute. I like that. We need to be proud of our history but we need to create our own,” he added.
Klopp, who has yet to win a trophy with Liverpool, said in the past he had used historical games to motivate his players but that this was not the occasion for such an approach.
“I’ve done that a lot in the past with my former teams. Dortmund had a lot of history. At one point you need to do your own things. The boys are ready. They are looking forward to it. They are ready,” he said.
Liverpool are the only team to have beaten runaway Premier League leaders City in the league this season, having enjoyed a thrilling 4-3 win at Anfield in January.
Klopp said that result had proven to his side they are capable of beating Pep Guardiola’s team.
“We beat City a few months ago. We knew before that it was possible, we know it now, it’s just unbelievably difficult to do it.
“It’s just a big job to do. We wanted to go as far as possible so it was clear at one stage we would face the best teams in the world. City are a special team, one of the best, if not the best team in Europe and they are deserved champions of the Premier League. But it’s not about yesterday, it’s about tomorrow,” he added.
Klopp said he had few options in the centre of defence after Joel Matip was ruled out for the rest of the season.
With Ragnar Klavan and Joe Gomez both missing Wednesday’s game through injury, he will have to start with Dejan Lovren alongside Virgil van Dijk.
The German said there remained a chance that midfielder Emre Can could be fit but added “it doesn’t look too good”.
Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Toby Davis