Jurgen Klopp believes the pressure of this season’s top four race is good for the mentality of his Liverpool side.
The Reds recorded a 1-0 win against Watford on Tuesday morning, with a stunning goal from Emre Can just before half-time all that decided the contest.
Having struggled to find a breakthrough against the Premier League’s lower outfits at times this campaign, Klopp praised his team for dealing with a Hornets squad that was largely setup to defend.
“It was a difficult game as everybody saw. They are a difficult-to-play-against opponent, deep defending,” he told reporters after the match.
“We passed a lot, which we had to do, it’s not possible to create chance after chance.”
“I thought we improved from last week when we didn’t look patient enough, but today we looked better and had these moments – of course, we didn’t train for a bicycle kick from Emre!”
The result saw Liverpool move three points clear in third spot, however, Manchester City and Manchester United both have a game in hand on the Merseysiders, while Arsenal also have slim hopes of cracking the top four.
Although the race for Champions League qualification is set to go until the final days of 2016-17, Klopp claims that this intensity is keeping the Reds players focused.
“We have pressure, yes – but pressure in the end of the season, in this period, means you fight for something,” he said.
“It’s a positive pressure, so we want to keep this – we want to keep this pressure high, we want to stay focused, we want to work hard and do everything for the points we can get.
“We don’t expect for a second that it will be easy.”