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fan power Jurgen Klopp's programme notes stir emotions ahead of Anfield showdown with Real Madrid

Klopp insists he needs to convince his players the Anfield fans can still influence the tie.


Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Photo: AP

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Photo: AP

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Photo: AP

Jurgen Klopp has offered up some stirring programme notes for Wednesday night's Champions League quarter-final with Real Madrid at Anfield as he insisted his side have to believe they can overturn a 3-1 first leg deficit.

Klopp did not appear to enjoy his press match press conference as he was quizzed by reported on the significance of the absence of fans at Anfield, but he is more forthcoming about the empty stadium in his programme notes.

These words may well have inspired a passionate response from the club's fans if they were allowed to attend the game against Real Madrid, but the empty stands are likely to take away a huge part of Liverpool's aura.

"I said after the weekend, when speaking to the media, that we would need to be perfect if we wanted to get through. This is correct. And to be honest, it would have applied if the tie was still level or even in our favour. In that respect the current scoreline isn't an oppressive factor for us.

"This Real Madrid team has some of the greatest talent playing football in the world today. This isn't a surprise – it's what Real Madrid do. So to beat a side like this you must always strive for the perfect performance.

"But what we will not lose sight of is how good we are. The talent we have. The magic in our dressing room. And the character required to make special moments happen. We have the entire package at Liverpool.

"So for me is about two giants, on the biggest stage, having the opportunity to compete. How cool is that? Let's embrace it and attack it. 'Vamos', as a few of the players like to shout before kick-off.

"I could tell from the line of questioning after the first leg that the 'Anfield factor' is a story leading into the contest. The focus on the 'power of Anfield' and whether it can still work when the stands are empty.

"It is an indisputable truth that a full stadium this evening would have been significant for us. When I think back to the many special nights we have had here, I usually describe them with the word 'together'. That is because those nights were about the collective power of this club. Supporters and players coming together to produce memories that last a lifetime."

"It's not possible to experience it together, as regards to proximity. It is true we won't have the noise and colour that paints the stunning images we are used to for these European nights. But I still believe this can be a collective experience, if we are minded to make it so."

Klopp went on to suggest he will try to encourage his players to believe the fans are present and backing them, as they look to create a comeback that would have shades of their Champions League semi-final triunph against Barcelona two years ago.

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"My job – and the job of the boys – is to channel your energy despite the forced distance," he added. "We know it's still there, therefore we can still use it. It's more of a challenge, of course, but since when did we ever do anything the easy way?

"I'm not a believer in promises when it comes to results, but I can say with certainty we go out there to fight for all our supporters as if they were with us in the Main Stand, Anfield Road, the Sir Kenny Dalglish Stand or the Kop. This is our commitment.

"Whether it is enough to get through or not, we will see. But we give all we have. We try to be perfect."

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Online Editors