Respects were paid to former Liverpool captain Tommy Smith ahead of the Reds' Premier League meeting with Huddersfield Town on Friday night.
The man nicknamed the 'Anfield Iron', who made 638 appearances, scored 48 goals and won nine major trophies with the club, passed away at the age of 74 earlier this month.
And those inside Anfield on Friday observed a period of silence in tribute to Smith before kick-off, which can be watched below.
Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League again with a 5-0 victory over Huddersfield Town at a blustery Anfield on Friday night.
Naby Keita’s first-minute opener was followed by braces from Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah to secure an emphatic scoreline and a 10th triumph in a row in all competitions for the Reds.
The win lifted Jürgen Klopp’s side two points above title rivals Manchester City, who travel to Burnley on Sunday afternoon.
And the icing on the cake came with the introduction of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on 73 minutes for his first senior appearance for 12 months and a rousing reception from the home fans.
There was significance throughout the Liverpool teamsheet as Dejan Lovren and Daniel Sturridge came into the XI in place of Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino – the latter absent due to a minor muscle issue.
On the bench, meanwhile, was Oxlade-Chamberlain, the midfielder back in a first-team squad one year and two days after suffering a serious knee injury against AS Roma at Anfield.
Whatever happens in the final stretch of the title race, it has been a record-breaking Premier League season for Klopp’s men, whose win here further increased a best-ever points total to 91.
Another new benchmark was achieved 15 seconds into the match, too.
Keita’s pressing alarmed Jon Gorenc Stankovic into giving away possession near his own area, Salah capitalised by sliding a reverse pass into Keita’s subsequent forward run and the No.8 rolled a finish off the left post and in.
It was the fastest goal Liverpool have scored in the Premier League era.
Strangely, though, the speedy breakthrough came in contrast to an opening 10 minutes in which the visitors troubled the Reds, Stankovic’s shot from 20 yards flicking off Lovren and wide at the Kop end, for example.
But Klopp’s side steadily clenched their grip on the game, with Salah prodding off target at the end of an incisive dribble and Virgil van Dijk nodding a header over from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner.
The second goal soon arrived, though.
Van Dijk’s 23rd-minute surge forward with the ball opened up space and his clipped pass out to Andy Robertson on the left flank was swung into the area for Mane to clinically head down past Jonas Lossl.
Jordan Henderson rifled a presentable chance too high from the edge of the box after Robertson’s latest delivery rebounded out but Liverpool’s control was to be rewarded with a third just before the interval.
Alexander-Arnold’s lofted pass married with Salah’s sprint off the right flank and the Egyptian delicately dropped the ball up and over the outcoming Lossl to go out in front as the first Premier League scorer to reach 20 goals this season.
Mane threatened a fourth early in the second half but, having collected Georginio Wijnaldum’s ball over the top, the No.10 slightly misjudged his attempt to chip Lossl from left to right.
Huddersfield responded with three quickfire warnings.
Juninho Bacuna troubled Lovren with a dribble into the area from the left and the Liverpool defender’s attempted block spun the ball into the middle towards Karlan Grant, who could not connect.
Keita then tracked back superbly to prevent Steve Mounie from breaking free in the right channel and Alisson Becker padded away a swerving strike from Bacuna.
The home supporters were on their feet in anticipation when Salah tricked his way around Terence Kongolo and smacked a fine rising shot reminiscent of his thunderbolt against Chelsea – but this one sailed the wrong side of the left post.
Instead it was Mane who bagged the fourth and temporarily matched Salah’s Premier League tally of 20 this term.
He had been involved in the initial build-up with Robertson and after the ball was recycled via Alexander-Arnold and a sweeping Henderson cross into the box, Mane was there with another precise header home from close range.
Klopp sent on Oxlade-Chamberlain and Xherdan Shaqiri for the final quarter-hour and the former was only denied an immediate goalscoring return by the leg of Lossl, following Salah’s tee-up.
Mane hit the post to miss out on a hat-trick of headed finishes, the Senegal international picked out by Shaqiri, yet there was still time for a fifth.
Patient play saw Robertson remain onside to collect Shaqiri’s pass into the left channel and a perfect square into the centre allowed Salah to wrap up an excellent evening’s work for the Reds.
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Jürgen Klopp described his joy at being able to name Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in Liverpool’s matchday squad for the first time in over a year as ‘unbelievable’.
One year and two days since sustaining a long-term knee injury against AS Roma at Anfield, the midfielder is back in the Reds’ 18 for this evening’s Premier League clash with Huddersfield Town at Anfield.
Klopp said: “[It’s] unbelievable. We had to think about when we wrote the names on the teamsheet today how we call him. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, there are a lot of options obviously – Alex, Ox, Chambo, whatever! It’s that long ago.
“It’s really nice, it’s really good news that he’s back. He has been back for a while and now today back in the squad, so it’s cool – really cool.”
Roberto Firmino missed Liverpool's meeting with Huddersfield Town due to a muscle injury, Jürgen Klopp has confirmed.
The forward sustained the issue in training on Thursday but, with the Reds set to visit FC Barcelona in the Champions League next week, the manager reassured it is ‘not a big thing’.
“Actually, yesterday after training he mentioned a little muscle issue,” Klopp, who replaced Firmino with Daniel Sturridge in the starting XI, told Sky Sports.
“We assess it obviously. It’s not a big thing but was enough to leave him out today, that’s all.”
Daniel Sturridge starts and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is on the bench as Liverpool make two changes for tonight’s Premier League clash with Huddersfield Town at Anfield.
Sturridge replaces Roberto Firmino in the line-up, with the Brazilian ruled out due to a slight muscle strain.
Meanwhile, Oxlade-Chamberlain returns to the Reds’ matchday squad for the first time since sustaining a knee injury against AS Roma at Anfield one year ago.
Elsewhere, Dejan Lovren comes in for Joel Matip in defence, while Fabinho misses out due to the effects of the clash of heads at Cardiff City last weekend.
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Keita, Mane, Salah, Sturridge.
Subs: Mignolet, Milner, Gomez, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Shaqiri, Origi, Matip.
Liverpool FC has issued the following ticket update for the Premier League fixture against Newcastle United at St. James’ Park.
The game on Saturday May 4 will kick off at 7.45pm BST.
A limited number of tickets remain and will be available online to season ticket holders, Members and fan card holders based on attendance at Premier League away fixtures during 2017-18.
The below sales will take place online only.
Attendance at four games: from 11am until 12.45pm on Monday April 29.
Only in the event tickets remain…
Attendance at three games: from 1pm on Monday April 29.
Supporters can purchase one ticket per person up to a maximum of four tickets per transaction.
Tickets are subject to availability and are allocated on a first come, first served basis. We cannot guarantee that tickets will be available to all who apply.
For further information before travelling, please click here.
Daniel Sturridge paid a visit to the North Liverpool Foodbank in Clubmoor this week.
The Liverpool striker donated food to the centre alongside the club’s Red Neighbours team, to be used in emergency food parcels which help to support local families living in food poverty.
According to national foodbank charity Trussell Trust, the use of foodbank parcels nationally has risen by 73 per cent in the last five years, with 1.6million food parcels provided in the past year alone.
“It has been eye-opening to come here and learn about the work that the North Liverpool Foodbank does and the high number of families in Anfield that access their vital support,” said Sturridge.
“But it’s also great to hear about the difference that our fans are making by donating at each Anfield matchday.”
On matchdays, fans are encouraged to donate what they can at the Fans Supporting Foodbanks’ collection points on Anfield Road, the Anfield club store, and the Homebaked co-operative bakery on Oakfield Road.
Fans Supporting Foodbanks, which is a partnership between the Liverpool supporters union Spirit of Shankly and the Everton Supporters’ Trust, now accounts for a quarter of the intake of food at the North Liverpool Foodbank.
Foodbank donations can be made at St Andrew’s Community Network, 16 Larkhill Lane, L13 9BR (9am-5pm, Monday to Friday) or at your local supermarket collection point.
The five most-needed items at North Liverpool Foodbank are: long-life milk, long-life fruit juice, tinned meat, tinned vegetables, and mashed potato.
For more information, please visit: www.standrewslive.org.uk/community-network.
Liverpool will move for Nicolas Pepe in the coming weeks, according to reports in France.
The Lille forward will be hot property in the coming transfer market after 19 goals in Ligue 1 this season – only Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe (30) has scored more.
Arsenal have been tracking Pepe for the last year, while Chelsea recently identified the 23-year-old as a replacement for Real Madrid-bound Eden Hazard.
But L’Equipe claim Liverpool are ready to position themselves to sign Pepe after making an enquiry about the star earlier this month.
Italian side Inter have reportedly already lodged a written offer for Pepe, which is believed to be between £52million and £60m.
Lille expect improved bids to come in for their prized asset, with Liverpool competing with Bayern Munich and PSG for Pepe’s signature.
Club president Gerard Lopez conceded Pepe would almost certainly leave Lille this summer.
‘Four or five players will be leaving this summer,’ he told Telefoot.
‘All clubs are forced to balance their accounts except perhaps one. I would say yes, it is sure he [Pepe] will leave.
‘He enters a price range that can no longer be paid. There is a career choice to make for him, I think he will have the choice.’
This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Tickets are now on general sale for Liverpool's pre-season matches with Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla in Indiana and Boston this coming July.
Jürgen Klopp’s side are set to return to the United States as part of their preparations for 2019-20 and will play at a series of iconic venues.
Bundesliga giants Dortmund are the opponents for an historic fixture at Notre Dame Stadium – the first of its kind at the 77,000-seat stadium – on Friday July 19 (8pm kick-off local time).
The Reds will then return to Fenway Park in Boston for a meeting with Spanish team Sevilla, which kicks off at 6pm local time on Sunday July 21.
Follow the links below to book tickets for the games right now.
Liverpool v Borussia Dortmund – July 19, Notre Dame Stadium | Click here to buy tickets
Liverpool v Sevilla – July 21, Fenway Park | Click here to buy tickets
Watch highlights of Liverpool's penalty shootout victory over Manchester City in the FA Youth Cup final now.
The young Reds secured the club's first Youth Cup win for 12 years in dramatic fashion at City's Academy Stadium on Thursday night.
Bobby Duncan forced extra-time with a long-range equaliser late on, after Nabil Touaizi had given the hosts the lead just before the break.
And Barry Lewtas' side then held their nerve from 12 yards, netting all five of their spot-kicks to win the shootout 5-3.
Watch the best of the action via LFCTV GO above.
We'll bring you confirmed team news from Anfield an hour before kick-off, of course, but we already know a little about who might be in the Reds' side tonight.
Dejan Lovren is expected to be fit after missing the last two games, but Fabinho and Adam Lallana remain doubts.
Klopp has also ruled out making sweeping changes ahead of next Wednesday's trip to Barcelona.
“We had enough time to recover after the last game, we have enough time to recover for the next game. Barcelona has nothing to do with the game on Friday night,” said the boss.
This weekend, April 27-28, is the Refspect National Awareness weekend.
Along with the Football Association and the Professional Footballers' Association, Liverpool FC is supporting the Refspect campaign, which aims to reduce the level of bullying and harassment experienced by referees across all levels of football, particularly at grassroots level.
The initiative raises awareness of the true impact of anti-social behaviour aimed match officials and strives to improve the behaviour of parents and spectators while also encouraging more people to become a referee.
For more information visit - www.dontxtheline.com
Bobby Duncan and Rhys Williams revelled in the 'indescribable' feeling of helping Liverpool win the FA Youth Cup.
The young Reds overcame Manchester City 5-3 on penalties after the two sides could not be separated over 120 tense minutes at City's Academy Stadium.
After the hosts took the lead in first-half stoppage time through Nabil Touaizi, Duncan levelled with a long-range equaliser in the 86th minute to take his tally to 32 goals for the season.
Captain Paul Glatzel then scored the winning spot-kick as Barry Lewtas’ team claimed the club’s first Youth Cup title since 2007.
Post-match, Duncan and Rhys Williams, who was his usual commanding self at centre-back, spoke to Liverpoolfc.com. Read on for their reaction...
On lifting the Youth Cup…
Duncan: "It’s indescribable to be honest. There were mixed emotions throughout the game because we were 1-0 down, but to come back and win on penalties was unbelievable. It took us a while to get started but I thought we had more hunger, determination and more drive than them. We were in Dallas when this game got arranged so I think that added fuel to the fire for us and we wanted to get it over the line and win the game.”
Williams: "We are over the moon. It’s been 10 years since we got to a final but to get here and win it against such a good team, it shows our character. The desire we have got as a team with the quality up front is what we are about. You look at Bobby who hasn’t had a sniff all game and he gets that one chance and scores, it shows the quality in this team.”
On the half-time message from manager Lewtas…
Williams: "After half-time the momentum shifted [towards us]. Barry told us we were too far off them and we needed to get into their faces and be more aggressive and that's what we did. They tried to make it hard for us but we overcame the odds. Full credit to our lads. Their fans were loud throughout the game but to come through it like we did shows great character. We saw a few of their players lying down with cramp and we have fit players like Abdi Sharif and Elijah Dixon-Bonner who run all day for the team.”
Duncan on his dramatic equaliser against his former club…
"You know what, the ball they use in the FA Youth Cup are different to the ones we use [in U18s Premier League] and when I took the shot I knew it would move. Luckily for me and for us it went in the back of the net. It was a special moment. Some people might say it was written but I just think it’s down to the team. It was down to our grit and determination.”
On the shootout…
Duncan: “I was down to take our sixth penalty if we needed it. The boys have got some bottle to do that.”
Williams: “I didn’t want to look to be honest but I had to! Fair credit to the boys, they did it, they had ice in their veins and they stuck the penalties away perfectly.”
On the spirit in the squad…
Duncan: "To work with all these lads is just amazing. The banter in the changing room, everybody is level-headed, there’s no egos and we all want to do well for each other.”
Williams: “Our target at the start of the season was to win the FA Youth Cup, win the league and the Premier League Cup. Unfortunately we got knocked out of the Premier League Cup but to win this one, the biggest tournament in youth football, shows how good a team we are and hopefully we can go and win the league as well.”
Liverpool face relegated Huddersfield Town on Friday night as they seek to reclaim top spot in the Premier League.
With Manchester City not in action until Sunday, Jürgen Klopp's Reds can leapfrog the leaders with victory at Anfield and go two points clear.
Opponents Huddersfield head into the match off the back of a 2-1 defeat by Watford and cut adrift at the foot of the table with 14 points.
New manager Jan Siewert arrived from Borussia Dortmund to replace David Wagner in January - so, what can we expect from his Terriers side on Friday?
We caught up with chair of the Huddersfield Town Supporters' Association and Ooh To Be A... podcast host Jim Chisem (@jim_chisem) to get the lowdown...
Have you been able to enjoy Huddersfield's two-season stint in the Premier League?
I mean, I've certainly enjoyed parts of it. I never thought I'd see us beat Manchester United at home, for instance, or stay up by the skin of our teeth at Stamford Bridge.
But we've only won three games this season - two of them against Wolves - so I'm looking forward to a respite over the summer.
Have the team been playing with a greater freedom since relegation was confirmed?
To be honest, no. We've looked bereft of confidence since Crystal Palace relegated us and I think we've been in damage limitation mode.
How do you see the club faring in the Championship next season?
It's hard to say because it's likely that we'll have an almost entirely new team come August. A lot of players will be out of contract in June, while others have made it clear that they do not want to play in the second tier.
Knowing how competitive the Championship can be, I'd be very happy if we made a push for the play-offs.
How has new manager Jan Siewert changed the team's approach?
He's made subtle changes.
David Wagner initially set up with a 4-2-3-1, with a high press, most of the play focused down the flanks, and an emphasis on quick transitions. This approach gradually evolved into a much more defensive 5-4-1, while our pressing became more cautious, and counter-attacking gave way to ball retention.
Against bigger teams, Siewert has maintained Wagner's 5-4-1, or 4-3-3 in attack, though he tends to encourage far more risk-taking on the ball and is more interested in quick counters than possession.
Our wingers play as inside-forwards, which means we have more of the ball and create most of our chances down the middle. We also seem to sit off the opposition, but press aggressively during transitions, especially in the opposition's third.
It's early days, but is there a player who epitomises Siewert's Huddersfield?
Juninho Bacuna, without a doubt. He may only be 21 years old, but he's incredibly versatile. We've already seen him play as a wing-back, central midfielder, and No.10.
Perhaps more importantly, he's positive on the ball, always looking for a forward pass or attacking opportunity, and incredibly tenacious. Those are the qualities that we'll need to succeed next season.
I hope we build our team around him.
Who will be the danger man against Liverpool on Friday?
If not Bacuna, then Karlan Grant. We signed him in January from Charlton and he's already our top scorer with, erm, four goals.
He's quick and has a great shot on him.
Where do you see the game being won and lost?
In the heads of the Liverpool players. We might be down, but we're not out. It would be a mistake to think otherwise.
What have you made of Liverpool this season?
Liverpool are a joy to watch. They've got that combination of dynamism and grace that defines all iconic football teams.
I hope you win the league.
Premier League 2018-19 Premier League 2018-19
How do you expect Huddersfield to line up?
We'll probably opt for a 5-4-1, sit back and try to hit you on the counter.
What is your prediction for the game?
Given the circumstances, I think it will be a nervy, close-fought affair. Liverpool 2-1 Huddersfield.
Last season's Premier League clash with Huddersfield Town would be far too easy for Missing Men, so it's time to head back to 1971 for the Terriers' previous trip to Anfield in the top flight.
Bill Shankly was the manager of a Liverpool team littered with future legends, but can you name the XI that beat Huddersfield 2-0 that day?
It's a tricky one, so read on for some clues...
After a frustrating first half at Anfield, Liverpool's No.7 - a player who would go on to become the footballing superstar of the Seventies - came close to breaking the deadlock but found opposition goalkeeper David Lawson in inspired form.
The Huddersfield stopper made a string of fine saves in a Man of the Match performance on that October afternoon but collided with the upright making the aforementioned one and required treatment as he lay dazed on the pitch.
Called into action once again as Liverpool were awarded a 57th-minute penalty, Lawson saved the spot-kick but the man Reds fans nicknamed the 'Anfield Iron' - wearing the No.4 and the captain's armband - was on hand to tuck away his own rebound and make it 1-0.
The pressure mounted on the visitors' goal and Liverpool's record appearance holder, wearing No.11, combined with the Reds' No.10 to go close before Alun Evans made it 2-0 with 10 minutes to go.
Set up by a two-time European Cup-winning winger who would go on to run Liverpool's youth academy, Evans' strike ensured the Reds extended their unbeaten run at Anfield to 30 league games.
We've given you plenty of hints and revealed three players, but can you fill in the rest of the Missing Men below?
Click the Next button below to reveal the Missing Men...
Fancy winning a signed Liverpool FC home shirt? Correctly predict the score of tonight's match against Huddersfield Town and you could do just that.
Entering our competition is easy: simply tell us your guess for the final result at Anfield this evening and provide some basic details to be in with a chance of taking the prize.
Follow the instructions below to enter now.
Mohamed Salah could make a milestone appearance for Liverpool in Friday night's Premier League clash with Huddersfield Town.
The Egyptian forward, who joined the Reds from Italian outfit AS Roma in June 2017, will play his 100th match for the club if selected at Anfield.
Salah has scored 67 times in his previous 99 outings.
Against the Terriers, he has been directly involved in three goals in three matches - scoring twice and providing an assist.
For more need-to-know pre-match facts and figures, courtesy of club statistician Ged Rea, read on...
Liverpool are unbeaten in the last 12 league meetings with Huddersfield home and away.
At Anfield, the Reds have won the last three in succession - a record for home meetings between the teams.
There has never been a goalless draw between the sides at Anfield - the last one came at Huddersfield in 1970.
Liverpool have recorded six victories and a draw in the last seven league clashes with the Terriers, keeping a clean sheet each time.
Reds goalkeeper Alisson Becker needs one more clean sheet to equal the club record of 20 in a single Premier League season - set by Pepe Reina in 2005-06 and again in 2008-09.
Virgil van Dijk's next league appearance will be his 50th for the club. The Reds have conceded 30 goals in that sequence and have kept 26 clean sheets, winning 34 times and losing just four.
Liverpool have won 27 league games this season. Only once before have they ever accumulated more victories in a league campaign. In the 42 matches in 1978-79 they took maximum points in 30.
The Reds can still reach 30 wins this season if they triumph in the final three games - against Huddersfield, Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Premier League 2018-19 Premier League 2018-19
Liverpool's next goal will be their 100th of the 2018-19 campaign in all competitions.
Overall in the Premier League, on a Friday the Reds have won eight of 14 games, with three draws and three defeats.
The collective mentality around the dressing room and on the terraces gives Jordan Henderson belief Liverpool will continue to challenge for top honours for seasons to come.
The Reds go into this evening’s Premier League clash with Huddersfield Town aiming to return back to the summit of the division, before contesting the first leg of the Champions League semi-final against FC Barcelona next week.
Writing in his column for the official matchday programme, Henderson said: “It feels like we’ve been talking about scenarios for the end of the season since August. I’ve honestly not known a season like it. Essentially, since the opening weeks of the campaign, there has been speculation and comment on what every result means for what can be achieved this season.
“How many wins will it take? How many points do you need? How many points do your opponents need to drop and where might that happen?
“Clearly, with just a handful of games to go, that talk has ramped up to a point where, on the outside, it feels like discussions about what might or might not happen are going on 24/7. But, as you’ll have heard nearly every player in our squad say repeatedly when asked, it isn’t something that has consumed us.
“We haven’t lost an ounce of focus. Don’t get me wrong; all of us are living and breathing every second of this. We absolutely love it and we are completely focused on it.We love the pressure, the intensity and the focus. This is what every single one of us wants every single season – to have these pressures at this point of the season.
“Someone told me that a supporter had said playing Champions League games that kick off in daylight is what Liverpool supporters want all the time because it means you’re playing these games at the end of April and May, which is the business end. We’ve done that two seasons running and how we’re handling this as a group of players is what gives me the hope for the years to come that we can be a force season after season.
“When I look around our dressing room I see a group of players who could be together for years and years, if we all want that. The best way of describing our current situation is that the overriding feeling is opportunity and that goes for everyone connected with the club – from the dressing room to the terraces.
“It’s anticipation rather than desperation. We’re acting like a club that ‘belongs’ at this level but not in an arrogant way. I think that’s been a key part of our growth as a club and it’s why everyone should be relishing and embracing the pressure of the remaining weeks of the season.
“You’ll have seen James Milner’s celebration after scoring the penalty at Cardiff. He was taking the mickey out of himself for being the most senior player age-wise in the dressing room, but look at how Millie plays and how much energy he has. He can keep playing at this level for years and years, the way he looks after himself. I’ve only seen him get quicker, fitter and stronger during his time here – and again that says everything about our squad and the commitment from everyone in it.
“It’s difficult to talk about the long-term when you’re fighting for what we are in this moment, but I do think it’s relevant to the current mood of calm focus we have as an entire club.
“Our supporters are clearly loving every moment and, like with us players, I only see joy and belief in them at the moment. I don’t see anything other than us all living the moment and I think that’s a big part of our growth. The fear and desperation isn’t there any more. No one here thinks we’ve cracked it, but the support we are getting shows total belief.
“There’s also patience. Collectively we know we don’t need to be 1-0 up after 10 minutes because we have the quality to score at any time. So, if we go in at half-time goalless, or fall behind in a game, we’re still fully convinced we can go on and win it. The supporters know every single player is giving all they have every time they take to the pitch. For most of the season giving our all has been enough to get the result we wanted. That’s why we’re in this really positive situation now.”
Pick up your copy of the official LFC matchday programme at the stadium tonight, or subscribe online by clicking here.
Jürgen Klopp isn’t anticipating anything other than a ‘big fight’ in order for Liverpool to clinch victory over Huddersfield Town at Anfield tonight.
The Terriers sit bottom of the Premier League table, with relegation already confirmed, while the Reds are aiming to return to the top of the division’s summit.
However, Klopp insists anything his team get this evening will need to be hard earned.
The manager wrote in his column for official matchday programme: “What is abundantly clear coming into this game is that we will have a big fight on our hands this evening to get the result we need. If the last few weeks and months has taught us anything, it’s that to achieve what we want we must always be prepared to go and take it – absolutely nothing will be handed to us.
"You only need to think about the competitive games at Fulham, Southampton and Cardiff to realise that to win games in the Premier League you need to be at your very best for 90-plus minutes or you fall short. Nothing less than your everything will do.
"We have been very blessed that our players have displayed the attitude required. They completely understand what is needed. You do not get into the position we are in now without recognising that.
"I feel very blessed to have this group. Huddersfield have had a tough campaign admittedly, but within that they have shown the fight and spirit that helped them achieve the amazing success they enjoyed in the past three years.
"Anyone who underestimates their quality only needs to think back to the game when we faced them at their home earlier in the season. I didn’t hide it on the night and don’t hide from it now – we were extremely fortunate to leave with the win. They were brilliant that night and deserved something in terms of points.
“I have been in their position before in my career, where you have to accept dropping back before looking to take strides forward again and therefore I know that matches such as tonight’s presents a wonderful opportunity for them to make a statement.
“We must have more hunger and more desire than them and work even harder – it’s that simple. Our supporters and our team are so in tune now with what we require I do not need to give reminders or cautionary team talks to either about complacency, patience or the need to react positively to setbacks in games. Our club – the entire club – has grown together so we have the perfect mentality of respect for the opposition, while having complete faith and belief in ourselves and what we do.
“At Porto and Cardiff I spoke before and after the games about the journey we are on together and how taking joy from it is so important. As a team we only focus on what is directly ahead of us, in terms of the next fixture. We don’t get distracted by speculation and hyperbole on the outside.
“We don’t get distracted by what others are doing – they have their path and we have ours. But we love the fact our supporters can squeeze all the positivity there is from our current situation. Reaching your destination is always the most important part of any journey and for us as a team we will never lose sight of the importance of delivering.
“But if you don’t or can’t enjoy the journey to it, then it isn’t as special when you finally arrive. Some journeys take longer, some have diversions and bumps in the road. I believe the journeys that have the most importance can be the most difficult to make. Regardless, these moments should only be about enjoyment for our fans. Soak up the enjoyment of the ride. For us, the team, it is about working and performance and focus. We are the ones with the job to do, this is our mindset.
“Ask yourself what motivates these boys to fight and battle as they have all season? It is to win for the supporters. If Anfield was empty every week, or devoid of passion and energy it wouldn’t feel the same. So the supporters must never dial down the joy or the anticipation. The pressure we feel is only positive – the pressure we feel brings more energy not less.”
Pick up your copy of the official LFC matchday programme at the stadium tonight, or subscribe online by clicking here.