Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes the reigning Premier League champions will have achieved something significant this season if they can finish in the top four.
Liverpool have 13 games left to get back into the top four but Klopp is aware it will be easier said than done and is concerned about the buffer that clubs such as Chelsea and West Ham have.
The Reds have finished in the top four in each of Klopp’s four full seasons at Anfield but a ruinous run of form coupled with a dreadful injury list — that was added to by Jordan Henderson recently — means they face an uphill battle.
It would not be an achievement comparable to winning a trophy but, in terms of the hurdles that have been put in front of Liverpool, there is no disguising how proud Klopp would be if they can somehow transform the situation, starting at Sheffield United on Sunday.
“Yes it would be big,” said Klopp. “You can see the competitors. It is about what we can bring on the pitch. It is about results. The table doesn’t lie. We know that points-wise we are not that far away, but results-wise we are.
“That is what we have to change. We try but while we try and sort one problem another problem occurs. We have to think about Sheffield United. If we can do that then we are maybe a step closer but then Chelsea is coming!
“So, if we were to do it in the end… yes, it would be big.”
Aside from Henderson, Klopp will be without Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Fabinho, James Milner and Joel Matip at Bramall Lane, while No 2 keeper Caoimhin Kelleher also has an issue that has been keeping him out.
Henderson had successful surgery on a damaged adductor on Thursday after he had seen a consultant in London.
He is expected to be out for somewhere between six and eight weeks but there is no doubt about him being fit for the Euros in June.
“It’s not a quick (injury) but we all hope there is still a possibility for him to play a few games this season,’ said Klopp.