LONDON: Jurgen Klopp insisted Liverpool are in the Premier League title race thanks to Mohamed Salah’s goals despite the Egyptian’s faltering form of late.
Salah missed two huge chances as Liverpool drew for the fourth time in six league games in a 0-0 stalemate away to Everton last weekend to fall one point behind Manchester City at the top of the table.
Last season’s Premier League Player of the Year has now scored just once in his last seven games.
However, he remains only one goal behind City’s Sergio Aguero in the race for the Premier League golden boot.
“When you are a striker or offensive player and you have chances in a game, you want to score with them, that’s clear,” said Klopp ahead of Burnley’s visit to Anfield on Sunday.
“But as a manager I’m more than used to that, that players don’t score all the time, so that’s how it is.
“He has an unbelievable record, that’s all. His goals brought us where we are – not only (his goals), but a big part of it.”
Liverpool no longer have a first title in 29 years in their own hands with nine games of the Premier League season remaining.
However, with City feeling the physical strain of trying to complete a historic quadruple of trophies, Klopp insisted there is still plenty of reason for optimism.
“We always said we wanted to be in a position to fight for the top spot in the league and we are still in it,” added the German.
“That’s all we need to be positive, optimistic and excited in a very positive way about the challenge.”
And Klopp is not just concentrating on pre-match preparation for his players, but Liverpool fans too with Sunday’s clash kicking off at midday.
“Our people are very important, we spoke a lot about that – we need atmosphere at 12 o’clock,” he added.
“I said it last time as well – if you have a ticket for the stadium, go to bed at 10pm latest on Saturday night, don’t drink and be on your toes from the first until the last second!”
Meanwhile, Steven Gerrard said a Liverpool title win would not detract from the pain he feels of letting a 2014 Premier League lead slip.
As Liverpool captain, Gerrard won almost every trophy bar the Premier League.
Gerrard, now manager of Scottish giants Rangers, famously slipped to hand Chelsea the opener of a 2-0 win at Anfield in April 2014 with Liverpool on course to win the league.
Liverpool currently trail Manchester City by one point at the top of the table with nine games remaining.
“This wound has been open since my experience. I’m not sure it’ll close because I can’t change that experience,” Gerrard, who left Liverpool after 17 years as a player in 2015, told reporters.
“It doesn’t affect how I feel now. I look at a squad of players, some of whom I’m still friends with.
“I see a support that gave me absolutely everything from the terraces and around the world.
“I just hope for their sake, and mine as a supporter, that come the end of the competition they are victorious. But it won’t make me or my wound feel any different.”
Klopp’s side have been accused of letting the pressure get to them in recent weeks, having blown the chance to open up a seven-point lead over City just over a month ago by drawing at home to Leicester and have since been held on the road by West Ham, Manchester United and Everton.