Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says he will not be content with a place in the Capital One Cup final.
Klopp is two matches away from Wembley, where he last visited as Borussia Dortmund manager when they lost 2-1 to Bayern Munich in the 2013 Champions League final, and has impressed on his players the significance of making sure they make the most of their opportunity.
“It is always important because if you have the chance and you don’t try to go for it then it is a waste of time,” said Klopp.
“It is not our target to be part of the final, there is only one reason in tournaments like this and it is to win it.
“How important it can be for our development is a question we can only answer in a few weeks or months.”
Liverpool travel to Stoke for Tuesday night’s semi-final, first leg without Daniel Sturridge again. Klopp will also be without Martin Skrtel, and captain Jordan Henderson, while vice captain James Milner also remains doubtful.
Stoke have been boosted by news of Geoff Cameron’s successful appeal against his red card against West Brom on Saturday and he is available to face the Reds.
Stoke boss Mark Hughes thinks it’s a perfect time to be playing Klopp’s men, with his side looking for a reaction from the weekend’s defeat at West Brom.
“I would suggest that this is a good time to be playing Liverpool at home because we are looking for a major reaction, and more often than not, on the back of disappointing performances, we bounce back strongly,” said Hughes.
“We are the home team and when everything clicks into gear, at home, we have shown that we can cause any team in the country big problems.
“The important thing for us is to make sure we are still well in the tie going into the second leg, and then see where it takes us.”