LONDON — Liverpool will approach the Europa League in the “right manner” and have the squad depth to be successful in both the Premier League and Europe’s second-tier competition, manager Juergen Klopp said.
Six-time European champions Liverpool have missed out on the Champions League for the first time since Klopp’s first full season in 2016-17.
They reached the final of the 2016 Europa League under the German and he said reaching the title decider was the target once again.
“First and foremost, I think we all have to make sure that we all respect the competition in the right manner, that we respect the opponents in the right manner,” he told TNT Sports.
“I would love to go to the final, obviously, but I have no clue if we can reach that because there will be a lot of fantastic football teams in between us and that target, so we have to make sure we perform.”
Liverpool kicked off their Europa campaign with a trip to Austria’s LASK on Thursday before hosting West Ham United in the league on Sunday.
Klopp said that while the talent coming through Liverpool’s academy means the “future’s bright” for the club, he would not use the Europa League as a proving ground for young players.
“We have real talent there, but it is not experimental,” he added. “I think if we don’t get hit by an injury crisis then we should have enough players to field Thursday and Sunday a top team, and that’s pretty much the idea.”