Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool will never be away from Champions League football for long

Liverpool have slipped off the pace in the Premier League's race for the top four, but are well placed to reach the Champions League quarter-finals next week; watch Liverpool vs Fulham on Super Sunday from 1pm on Sky Sports Premier League; Kick-off is 2pm

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Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool's current slump wasn't inevitable following their achievements over the last few seasons

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is confident the "power of the club" means they will never be without Champions League football for long. 

While Klopp is not considering the prospect of failing to qualify for Europe's elite competition this term, he insists Liverpool will not return to the wilderness years of the early part of the last decade.

After spending eight of 10 seasons in the Champions League from the 2001-02 season, they spent six campaigns from 2010-11 either in the Europa League or out of Europe completely.

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Having won the tournament for a sixth time in 2019, their current run of four successive seasons is under threat after they slipped off the pace in the race for the top four.

Liverpool do, however, hold a 2-0 lead heading into their last-16 second-leg tie against RB Leipzig next week.

Liverpool played RB Leipzig in Budapest last week in the Champions League
Image: Liverpool hold a 2-0 lead heading into their last-16 second-leg tie against RB Leipzig next week

Ahead of Sunday's home match against Fulham, live on Sky Sports, Klopp sought to calm fears missing out this season would be the precursor to another long absence.

"This club will not be a regular out of the Champions League - this year is difficult, we know that, but the potential and the power of the club is a completely different one," he said.

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"I do not know the team 10 years ago but we are ready for a battle in this era, and with the team we have together.

"Seasons have momentum and we never really got it this year, that is true, but this club is in a really good position. In a difficult time obviously, but in a better position than other clubs I would say.

"I obviously did not think about what happened in the past but what I can say nobody has to worry about the future of the club because it is in good hands and has a really good team together, and so that is obviously the basis for a good future."

The loss of Champions League football would mean the club take a significant financial hit on top of the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Jamie Carragher assesses where it's all gone wrong for Liverpool this season after Klopp's side suffered their fifth straight home defeat

It could also affect the composition of the squad both in the transfer window and in terms of players who may want to leave.

Klopp dismissed that prospect and struck a hard line in terms of players for whom the Champions League was a priority.

"I know we have loyalty from the players. It is not a situation where a player in the squad says, 'We are not in the Champions League so I have to leave'. That will not happen. I know them well enough to know that," said the manager.

"The club is in a different situation and it will not be an issue with new players, I can say that.

"We said it years back if a player does not want to come to us because we don't play Champions League next season, then I don't want him.

"And if a player wants to leave because we don't play Champions League, then I don't want him. It is not a personal thing, but it is always like this.

"You always need to find the right squad for the challenges you face. Then you go for it. It is nothing I worry about."

Klopp: Salah frustration at substitution is a 'normal issue'

Mohamed Salah was hauled off shortly after the hour-mark at Anfield 0:54
Jamie Carragher questions Liverpool's decision to bring off top scorer Mo Salah when they needed a goal during their defeat to Chelsea

Klopp says Mohamed Salah's frustration at being substituted during Liverpool's Premier League defeat to Chelsea on Thursday is a "normal issue" as he praised the forward's outstanding goal record this season.

Salah, who has scored a league-high 17 goals this season, was visibly unhappy, shaking his head, after being replaced 62 minutes into the Reds' fifth consecutive defeat at Anfield.

Liverpool manager Klopp revealed after the match he had made the substitution because the Egypt international was "feeling the intensity".

Just after the substitution, Salah's agent Remy Abbas Issa posted a cryptic response to the change, tweeting out just a single full stop.

When Klopp was asked what he needed to do to ensure there is no lasting problem, he replied: "Talking. That's how it always is. I am not even sure if this situation is a reason for a 'proper talk' about it?

"We were 1-0 down, that makes no player happy, you go off and you can react in different ways because you are not happy about the general game.

"On top of that, you get subbed [as] a striker and you think you should stay on the pitch. That is all completely clear and a normal issue. It's just normal life."

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