Jurgen Klopp has explained how Liverpool have been transformed into history-makers – but acknowledges his record-breaking players are only human.
The Reds continued their remarkable Premier League campaign with a hard-earned 1-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
It extended their unbeaten top-flight run to 38 games while their tally of 61 points from 63 is the best-ever start by any team ever in any of Europe’s top leagues.
Having won the European Cup last season and the FIFA Club World Cup last month, Liverpool are edging closer to being crowned champions of England for the first time in 30 years.
And Klopp admits they have surpassed any expectations he had when his reign started with a trip to Tottenham in October 2015.
“I don’t expect from the boys what we did in the last few years,” said the Reds boss. “We tried to build on what we did the year before and make the next step.
“I realised on Saturday I was in the same meeting room in the hotel as it was before my first game against Tottenham.
“It was like I was in a time machine – nothing had changed. But the team has changed, obviously.”
Klopp added: “We’ve tried to do it piece by piece. It’s our way to play, I have no idea how long it usually takes. Maybe it took too long or we were there in time.
“We played well last season, and the season before I was happy, to be honest. We played a lot of good football games, but it’s not just about the game, it’s about how you can build the character for these boys to become they are.
“It can be about having defeats, and we had massive defeats. Getting a proper knock and not staying down and getting up again. It’s all character building.
“That’s how we did it. I couldn’t write a book about it, we just try to develop every day, sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t.”
Liverpool’s win strengthened their grip at the top of the Premier League table, with Klopp’s side now 14 points clear of second-placed Manchester City with a game in hand.
And the Reds boss has highlighted the determination to continue their progress and improve further.
“We’ve done it better than we did against Tottenham,” he said. “But of course, that’s our job. We go for the biggest prize.
“If you can get that by playing a little bit of football here and there, that’s not interesting for me. You have to give your all and that’s what we do.
“I said to the boys on Saturday that a couple of them looking a little too exhausted in my eyes in the game. We are humans and we all are weak, we can feel things a little bit, a headache or whatever.
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“But there’s still more to come. That’s what we have to ask ourselves for, and that’s what we do.
“I don’t think we needed a lot of luck, but without any luck you cannot have the numbers (we have).”
Klopp himself has no less motivation than when he first prowled the touchline as Liverpool boss.