Jurgen Klopp has described the future of a united Liverpool as “super exciting”, despite the disappointment of missing out on qualifying for Champions League football.
It is the first full season during Klopp’s long tenure that Liverpool haven’t booked a spot in the competition and after Manchester United’s win over Chelsea confirmed it on Thursday evening, the Reds’ top scorer Mohamed Salah tweeted he was “devastated”.
Klopp agreed it was a painful blow and accepted there had been “mistakes” made through the season but insisted there were plenty of reasons for Liverpool fans to be optimistic about what’s ahead.
“For me it was clear the other two teams [Newcastle and Man Utd] would get that point [they needed to secure Champions League football],” he said in his press conference ahead of Liverpool’s final game of the season against Southampton on Sunday.
“I drew a line. If it would have happened we’d have gone for it but we don’t have to change the mood again.
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“In the world of social media so many bad things happen constantly. I don’t think that was one of them. It was a normal description of his feelings and in that moment after the game, it’s not the moment to send optimistic messages.
“But I saw him now in the canteen and he was smiling. I don’t know for what reason but he was not in a bad mood.
“For a long time here it was clear this would not be a historically good season. We’re absolutely not happy with it. We made mistakes, we weren’t consistent enough.
“The amount of points we’ve collected since the World Cup is pretty good and if we’d done that over the whole season we’d have been in a different place.
“Of course there are reasons to be optimistic. That’s definitely the case. We have other reasons to be optimistic – the atmosphere our people created after the last home game. All these things are absolutely the basis for a fantastic future.
“We don’t have to make it bigger than it is. It’s a football season. We didn’t deliver what everybody wanted and expected. But we are still really united and that’s the good thing about it. If you can go through difficult moments like we did then that’s a really good basis for a better future. I find a lot of reasons for an optimistic view.
“But I can understand right after the game, when it was decided, is when you feel it. That for me was no different than it was for Mo.
“The dressing room is not in a bad mood. We learnt to deal with the situation. We didn’t get divided in one moment. We didn’t point fingers at each other.
“If you don’t qualify for the Champions League the best possible place is fifth and we did that. If you’d ask me 10 games ago if we could do that I’d have said no.
“There’s no reason why we should put the head down and leave it there until the new season starts. I saw very good signs and they are the things I’ll take for the new season.”