No margin for error in UEFA Champions League, Klopp admits


Liverpool's manager believes his side is being measured against historic high standards as well as those being set by Manchester City, distorting perspectives of their best start to a league campaign.

Michael Owen was critical of Virgil van Dijk for producing his "worst performance" in a Liverpool FC shirt in Tuesday night's 2-0 loss at Red Star Belgrade. Klopp told his Friday press conference.

"But our football so far (this season) has been pretty successful".

"But it doesn't really feel like that because of two reasons".

"The spectacular football didn't happen each game but it didn't happen previous year as well". That should not be a surprise for us, so it isn't.

"I don't see them struggling against Fulham", he added. It's a big gap.

England are now two points behind group leaders Spain, who they beat 3-2 last time around thanks to a brace from Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford. "It's all about a reaction from Tuesday now, but Fulham on Sunday is a tough job to do now". We have to build on our situation, we have to get better, to get more confidence out of the season.

"The whole game was kind of odd".

The good news is that Liverpool have Naby Keita back from injury after the Guinean made a return to training at the end of last week and is now in contention to make his fourth start in the Premier League. "We played a lot of good games".

"You can not compare. We have to do it by ourselves".

"It's good to have them back and it's probably the first time that all midfield players, apart from Ox, are available", Klopp said.

In all competitions, Fulham have managed just one win in their 33 away visits to Liverpool (D9 L23), scoring just four times in their last 17 games at Anfield. In a year our competitors are the champions of last year, the champions of two years ago, a more refreshed Arsenal and a more experienced Tottenham and Manchester United.

"People seem to be saying this season will only be a success if we become champions, but it is not like that".

Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 26 Premier League home games, their longest such run since August 2009 (31 games). I'm very happy to be here and I'm settling in very well, but I think it's going to be much, much better the longer I settle in.

"Everybody is searching for [fluidity]... but we are here to get results", Klopp said.

The Reds face Fulham on Sunday afternoon hoping to sign off with a win ahead of the worldwide break to keep themselves within striking distance of Premier League leaders Man City. I'm not sure how many games you watch over 90 minutes.

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane weren't at their best in midweek but I think Klopp will stick with his star attackers as they should have plenty of opportunities to shine against a poor Fulham defence this weekend. It was really good football in a lot of moments.