Jurgen Klopp won’t take break from management despite Liverpool’s struggles

LONDON – Jurgen Klopp has insisted that he does not need a break from management as he looks to put Liverpool back on track after their troubled season.

The Reds missed out on Champions League qualification after finishing outside the top four for the first time in a full season under his leadership.

A 4-4 draw at Southampton on the last day of the season over the weekend stretched the team’s unbeaten top-flight run to 11 games, but they had to settle for a fifth-place finish in the Premier League.

Klopp is currently the English top flight’s longest-serving manager since his appointment as Liverpool boss in 2015, and there had been claims that the intense German might be considering walking away from the club due to burn-out.

But, when asked if he needs time off from football, the 55-year-old said: “No, no, not at all. Honestly, I’m completely fine.

“If you’d asked me 11 games ago, ‘Do you want to have a break?‘, I would have thought about it, to be honest.

“But I’m absolutely fine, full of energy. I do have a break – I don’t have training and these kind of things. I will find time to re-energise and then we start again in July.”

Liverpool’s fifth-placed finish was their lowest since they finished eighth in 2015-16, the season during which Klopp replaced Brendan Rodgers at Anfield.

Despite their difficulties, Klopp is embracing playing in the Europa League and he also takes heart from the way his squad stuck together during some difficult moments.

“There is not a lot to learn (from the season) but a lot of clubs when the expectations are as high as ours… when things don’t go well pretty quickly you start blaming each other,” he said.

“That didn’t happen here. The better you behave in a crisis, the better you get out of it – and I really thought that was the case for us.

“We’re really, really not happy about it and for a club like us it’s massive not to qualify for the Champions League.

“But if we improve, we are all of a sudden again a team nobody wants to play against and that’s what we have to become again.”

On Europa League football, he added: “The actual possibility to go through a European trophy is not something that you dismiss, it’s everything.

“I love European competitions and for me that’s no different, to be honest. In the end, it’s a massive prize to win and we will try it definitely.”

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