Jurgen Klopp says he has come round to the idea of playing in an empty stadium pretty quickly and now insists he quite likes it, as Liverpool prepare to return to Premier League action next week.
The Reds played a friendly against Blackburn in an empty Anfield on Wednesday, running out 6-0 winners as they get ready to face Everton at Goodison Park next Sunday.
Liverpool need just two wins from their last nine games to claim the Premier League title for the first time, and although the fact there are no fans to watch it happen will take some gloss of it, Klopp insists it is ‘completely okay.’
‘Yes, it’s different, of course. You need to get used to it, but I like it. After three times, it is completely okay,’ the German told Liverpool’s official website.
‘I thought before – and I don’t have experience in this area – that it would be really awkward, but we have to create our own atmosphere in the games.
‘We have to be lively as well, we have to be animated and stuff like this. Being positive about the things that have happened and so on, that’s how you can create an atmosphere – and it’s what we have to do as well. Apart from that, it is Anfield.’
Klopp says that it is not just the new atmosphere in the stadium that needs getting used to, but there are so many new off-the-field practices that are different during the coronavirus pandemic.
While they know what to expect for home games, procedures could be very different on their travels, so the Premier League leaders are trying to prepare for every eventuality.
‘Everything is different,’ Klopp continued. ‘The boys now go home and they didn’t have a shower. It was raining before the game, so that would have been funny if there had been really hard rain and then you drive home in your own car and you didn’t have a shower.
‘Our meeting was here in the boardroom. We want to have it like this, we can organise it differently at Anfield when we play here, but we have no clue how it’ll be at away games and we need to create as awkward-as-possible situations just to not be surprised.
‘We want to focus completely on football and whatever happens around the games, we just take it like it is.’
Liverpool go to Everton on Sunday 21 June before hosting Crystal Palace on Wednesday 24, when they can clinch the title if they have secured back-to-back wins.
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