Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he is “really happy to be back” to watch his “wonderful football team again” with the Premier League set to return on 17 June.
Klopp’s side are 25 points clear at the top of the table and chasing a first league title in 30 years.
Players returned to contact training on 28 May but they will continue to be tested twice a week for coronavirus.
“I have missed it so much it’s unbelievable,” Klopp told BBC Sport.
“I know it’s not the most important thing in life but it is my passion. I hope the people are looking forward to it because we are.”
Liverpool could clinch the title with victory in their first game back if second-placed Manchester City lose to Arsenal – one of two Premier League games scheduled to take place on 17 June before the first full round of matches the following weekend.
Klopp says there is still “a lot of work to do” and Liverpool “want to win as many games as possible”.
“It’s nice to think about it but we are not champions yet and we know that,” he added. “We know we are close but close is not there. There are 27 points left for us and we will try everything to take them all.
“We are still not champions. We have to play football games and we have to win them. We don’t want to stop winning after two games or whatever it is. I don’t see results written in the stars; we have to work really hard.”
Listen to the full interview on Tuesday, 2 June at 19:00 BST on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sport Special with Kelly Cates.
There will be a parade…eventually
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson told BBC Radio 5 Live that playing at Anfield and lifting the Premier League trophy without any fans would be “pretty strange”.
But Klopp says celebrations with fans would happen eventually and “there will be a parade” when it is safe for supporters to gather in large numbers.
“If we become champions, whatever celebrations are possible we will do as a team internally and with all our supporters in the moment when we are allowed to do so again,” said Klopp.
“I can promise that if it happens, there will be a parade as well. Whenever? Who cares! We only need one day when everybody is able to come and then we will do that.”
‘There is no advantage at home’
Several of Liverpool’s games could be held at a neutral venue after Deputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts said up to six matches could be moved at the request of local police forces.
Those fixtures include the Merseyside derby as well as Manchester City v Liverpool.
Merseyside Police said that “in relation to crime and disorder” it has “no objections” to the game being played at Everton’s Goodison Park, and that it would be “ready to provide whatever policing is required of us”.
Klopp said Liverpool “would love” to play their home games at Anfield but feels there is no advantage when crowds are absent, as shown by results since the Bundesliga resumed.
“We will not have the help from the crowd but no team will have that so where is the advantage? Whoever we play it is the same situation which is why I’m not too worried about it,” said Klopp.
“We have tried to simulate the situation by training in the stadium and getting used to it. I’m just happy that we are back and we can play again.
“I’m not sure if it would give an edge [playing at Anfield]. If you look at Germany for example, they have not had a lot of home wins! We will speak to our supporters, although I’m not sure we have to because they know.
“It is a positive situation for us and our fans will not make a negative situation of it, I know that. If the alternative is not to play at all, then I will play wherever you want. I don’t care.”
‘My players were able to rest’
Klopp said his players returned to training “in good shape” after the Premier League was suspended on 13 March because of the pandemic.
He added that some of his key players were able to rest their bodies “for the first time in ages” following a heavy fixtures schedule over the last two years.
“Some of them were better than last summer after a shorter break,” said Klopp.
“When we start we will have had four weeks – three weeks of contact training together – and that should be enough, it has to be enough. You never know after a summer break how you will be when the season starts again and it is a little bit similar to this time.
“But from the first match we all play for absolutely everything.”
Title: Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool manager has ‘missed football so much’
Sourced From: www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/52880996
Published Date: 2020 06 01