Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has insisted his side will keep their minds firmly focused on their Premier League endeavours despite the looming Champions League clash with domestic rivals Manchester City.
The Reds face two tricky fixtures against Watford and Crystal Palace prior to their first leg encounter with City in the quarter finals of the European Cup, and Klopp is confident his chargers can look beyond the tantalising meeting on the horizon.
Despite admitting to holding a deep level of respect for City boss Pep Guardiola, the German acknowledged his side's position in the top four was not guaranteed unlike the Manchester club's title run, and they could therefore not let their foot of the gas unlike their counterparts.
“We are used to it. We play Watford and it is not difficult to stay focused on that. We come back and the boys have two international games then we come back and play against Crystal Palace. That’s our situation. We have to do the job," Klopp told the Liverpool Echo.
“We are not like City in the situation of being already kind of champion, we have to fight for this top-four spot until the end of the season. That’s our situation, it’s no problem. When the games are coming in the Champions League then we think about it and not before or after.”
Whilst the Champions League tie will pit the last remaining English sides in the competition against each other, Klopp acknowledged that it will be a no holds bar affair against a team managed by someone he deeply respects.
He added: “From my point of view, I have respect, I think that is normal when you see his teams playing and the work he did in the last few years if you are a football manager then you think, ‘oh not too bad.’
“City is obviously one of the strongest teams in the competition but we want to go to the next round so it is not our job to decide how we go there, to take this easy team which I didn’t find and then another one and then you are in a final.
"If we can put our specific style, philosophy and mix it up with our attitude and stuff like this, being brave, then there is something in it for us.
“We all know about that. Our record is not too bad against City. Yes it was a close game here and stuff like that. We are not the team they love to play constantly, let me say it like this."