Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp does not expect the attitude of his players to change with the shock news he is to leave the club at the end of the season.
The news the 56-year-old will not see out his contract until 2026 was a seismic event in football and the inevitable questions immediately followed about how it would affect a campaign which, with a bit of luck, has the potential to be the greatest in the club’s history.
Liverpool are five points clear at the top of the Premier League, into the last 16 of the Europa League, the Carabao Cup final next month and home advantage against Championship side Norwich on Sunday for a place in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
“The players didn’t have a lot of questions. I spoke to them all together and then a few after that,” said Klopp.
“We have a really strong bond. We are professionals. The agreement you have on both sides is you agree for one year, after that the manager can get the sack or a player can want a new contract.
“We are completely in that year and the boys see it exactly like that.
“I told them it is different to other situations; usually when a manager is in a dressing room and talks like that he got sacked. It isn’t like that because of the things we achieved with each other.
“I think a lot of people from the outside who are not with us will be happy. The distraction comes from outside but to get distracted you need two parts and we will not let it happen.
“If you want we can grow even more together and squeeze everything out of the season.
“There was before no guarantee we would win anything from this season and there is now no guarantee.
“We will fight 100 per cent. I cannot do the job in the future but I can do it very well right now.”
A visibly physically and emotionally drained Klopp could have left in the summer after a season of struggles and a failure to qualify for the Champions League or win a trophy.
However, the German saw it as his duty to rectify the problems within the squad and with clever recruitment he has done that, laying the foundations for his successor.
“This team is set up for the future. When I said Liverpool 2.0, that didn’t include me for the next 10 years but the team is there, the basis is there.
“Whoever comes in has the chance to play really good football. What we all did in the last years, changing from doubters to believers. It is a wonderful future ahead and that is all I want.”