Liverpool vs Plymouth Argyle - Klopp: Players do not need me to get them up

Posted Sunday, January 08, 2017 by PA

Liverpool may be in the midst of a genuine title challenge but manager Jurgen Klopp insists the players will not need a rocket to get them going for the FA Cup.

The Reds are second in the Premier League, five points behind Chelsea, and have a two-legged EFL Cup semi-final against Southampton this month and even though there will be plenty of changes for Sunday's visit of League Two Plymouth Klopp is confident no extra motivation will be needed.

"Whatever I could say is not good enough if the players don't want it," said the German.

"These players want to have success, these players want to take each chance they can get. That made it pretty easy for me.

"It's not like I do something like (set off) a firework before cup games and say 'We have no chance to win the Premier League so we have to find another way'.

"That's not how it is, we don't think like this. We really want to win football games and until now it worked well.

"When we came together in June and thought about the season and the ideas we had, the plan we had, the dreams we had - not that we had the biggest dreams - we thought we could play a good season.

"When you then finish the first half of the season there is no time to celebrate or think about it because two days later there's another game.

"It's always an opportunity, it's always a nice chance and that's how we see it with all the cup competitions.

"Now we play FA Cup third round and you know better than I do it's an historical tournament and we will try everything to win it.

"Then, we play the first leg of the semi-final in Southampton, that's not an easy game, so that's all pretty exciting and we look forward to it."

After a gruelling festive programme, which saw Liverpool play their last two matches within the space of 45 hours, Klopp is likely to rest most of his first-choice players.

Playmaker Philippe Coutinho and defender Joel Matip (both ankle), captain Jordan Henderson (heel) and James Milner (calf) will all miss the game while top scorer Sadio Mane is at the African Nations Cup.

Plymouth boss Derek Adams insists the Pilgrims will travel to Anfield with victory in mind.

Argyle have some big-game experience after they were beaten by AFC Wimbledon at Wembley in last season's Sky Bet League Two play-off final and Adams will prepare his side in the same way he did that afternoon.

Despite the disappointment of that defeat, Argyle are on course for promotion this season and sit second in the table, four points adrift of Doncaster.

"We're obviously looking forward to the game," Adams told the club's official website. "It's a terrific day for the supporters and everybody associated (with the club). The players are looking forward to it and we go to Anfield on Sunday with the aim of trying to win the game.

"You're always learning but we don't have too many players here now that were at Wembley, probably only three of them were involved on that day.

"We'll do things exactly the same as Wembley, which was a big day, but I've managed in big games before, 60,000 at Celtic Park and the Scottish Cup final. We'll prepare things exactly the same way, train here on Saturday morning and travel up in the afternoon."

Plymouth will take 8,500 fans up to Merseyside and Adams has encouraged the Argyle faithful to enjoy the experience of visiting Anfield with no pressure on his side.

"My message to our fans will be to enjoy the day," said Adams. "We took 35,000 to Wembley and now over 8,000 to Anfield. This is a different day because there's no pressure on us at Anfield, which could help us, and I'm sure the fans will have a terrific day.

"It gives us a break from league action; we've had pressure on us all season, so this is a nice break from the pressure. The fans lift the players on a weekly basis and, when we go away from home but still have the majority of support, it certainly helps.

"When our fans start singing, it can get the players going. It's a sell-out crowd and the ticket pricing has been very good as well, so a terrific day for everybody. I've been to Anfield on a number of occasions and it's a great venue to play football.

"Every game we play this season, we're the favourites, which is added pressure. This weekend gives us the opportunity to play in a different way."

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