Jurgen Klopp insists “nothing is decided” yet for Liverpool this season and he will not be content until the end of a successful campaign in May.
Liverpool are all but through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League after a 5-0 first-leg win at Porto in the last 16, while they are well placed to qualify for next year’s competition, sitting third in the Premier League.
But Klopp acknowledges there is still a long way to go before the season wraps up in May and he is reluctant to reflect on the triumphs of the year so far.
“I’m actually not happy – I want to be happy at the end of the season,” he told a pre-match news conference ahead of Saturday’s clash with West Ham. “I’m sometimes fine with it, sometimes more and sometimes less.
“Immediately after the game against Porto, I thought about West Ham. That’s our life [as managers] – to deal with that. What I want is to be ready for this game. We need an atmosphere ready for that as well.
“Nothing is decided this season. We have a good position but a good position is only the basis for the next few games. Now we have to use it as a group, players, coaches, manager, crowd.
“We need to be ready for a difficult game. [West Ham] always have opportunities with counter-attacks and set-pieces to score for themselves.
“When it’s negative, it’s all negative, or when it’s positive, it’s so positive we don’t care about the next game. I am not like this.
“I want to use this basis – for that we have to be at our best. I know there is a lot of work to do.”
Klopp wants Liverpool to continue to build and he sees Sadio Mane – linked with a new contract this week – as an important part of that.
“I have nothing to say about it so far,” the manager said. “We want to keep the players together – that’s not a secret – but there’s no news about anything like that.
“It’s normal. We want to keep Sadio here – he still has a contract – plus we want to strengthen as well in the future.”