Jurgen Klopp says he is “not interested in Tottenham” but does not believe the gap between the north Londoners and his Liverpool side is as big as the table suggests.
Liverpool held Spurs to a 1-1 draw at Anfield on Saturday but could easily have claimed all three points, with Hugo Lloris keeping the visitors in the game in the first half before Philippe Coutinho and Harry Kane exchanged goals in the second.
The result keeps Spurs 17 points ahead of Liverpool, but asked after the game whether their success this season gives him hope for his side’s future, Klopp was dismissive.
“I’m not interested In Tottenham,” he said. “Why should I be? I’m interested in Liverpool and our way.
“I don’t watch other teams and think ‘wow, how do they play!’
“If you want to write something that makes sense about this game, then think about if there should be seven positions between us.
“If not, then we have to think about how we can close this gap. I saw a few really good signs that this could be possible.
“We still have to develop a few things, but we are on a good way. They didn’t run more than us. In the last few weeks it was really good from my team.
“I think we created more chances, we had more shots on goal, more ball possession – maybe second half that changed a little bit, but first half for sure.
“We pressed better. That’s all true. But they have more points, that’s true too.
“We know we are in a good way.”
While Klopp is not thinking about emulating Spurs, he does believe Liverpool will fare much better next season as his players continue to adapt to his demands.
He added: “You can’t start dreaming and think ‘for them it’s possible, maybe for us it’s possible’.
“Of course, it’s possible for us, but if you say it’s sure that we will do this, then we will always carry this word with us.
“I know what will happen next season. Maybe you accept some things this season, with not being there. Next season it will be ‘ok, you’ve had enough time now come on, show’.
“We are in a good way, we play good football, but we don’t get often enough the result we deserve. That’s 100% true.
“That makes me not too happy after a game. But when I start analysing a game, we can build on these moments and then we will see it becomes better and better for sure if we have a little bit of luck with injuries and things like this.”
Could Spurs have coped with Liverpool’s injuries?
Klopp said in the build-up to Saturday’s game that Spurs have had “a good situation with injuries” this season, and speaking after the draw the German questioned whether Mauricio Pochettino’s side could have coped with the amount of injuries the Reds have suffered.
“Usually it’s not my job to say this but we had a lot more injury problems than Tottenham,” Klopp said.
“With the same injury problems, who would have played for Tottenham? Kane, problem, Alli, problem. Then this development is not possible with 25 games in a row. Or Eriksen’s out or whoever. Plus Vertonghen and Alderweireld? Oops. Completely different.
“These are the problems we’ve had to cope with. Then when they are all fit, we have to tune things and work together.
“It’s completely different for the other players when, for example, Divock plays. You need time to work together.
“Everybody says it’s always like this at the beginning, do whatever you want in the future. But never miss the things that really change. Not because of me, you don’t have to be interested in me. Only because of the team and the club.
“If you read numbers from the last few weeks and months, what’s really developed, then I could be more disappointed about the position in the table and the points we have, but I’m not. I know how hard the way is. It’s hard.”