“Having been involved in football for so long, you know there’s something round the corner, waiting. There always is.
“It’s great isn’t it? It gives them a taste of the dressing room, and we’re really excited about the pitch. There will be no excuses in that regard, we need to be on it, we need to play the way we know we can.
Jurgen Klopp plays down Bayern Munich talk from Franz Beckenbauer
“It’s a perfect surface, a big pitch against a good team who will try and press the life out of us. I’m sure the lads will have families there watching, and it’ll be a real proud moment.
“Liverpool have only won the FA Youth Cup three times so this shows how far we’ve come just to be in the mix. Hopefully we can make our way to the final.
“Being around the top of the league, being in the cup competitions, you get to this stage of the year and you lose a couple of games and your season could be over.
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“Without overstating it, it’s very similar to the first team. The game against Bayern Munich was huge, they win it and they kick on again.
“We have got to try and ride that wave, embrace a tough game, a semi-final at Anfield. We’re not downplaying it.”
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“I’m about to go to Arsenal, forcing myself to go, and Steven tells me ‘I promise that if you stay this year you’re going to take off and next year you’ll go to Bayern, Barcelona, Real Madrid or whichever one you want, but stay this year because you won’t be better off at Arsenal’.
Having a terrible understanding of how to keep the ball out of their own net has cost Fulham dearly this season and it’ll probably cost them their status as a Premier League team. But yeah Scotty, going hell for leather against Liverpool is definitely a good idea.
“This was the last conversation I had with Gerrard at that moment and I told my agent that I had made my decision and I was staying.
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“They came from a person who cared for me, who wanted my well-being, who saw me suffer during training and saw me sad.
“They were words from a true captain that had an impact in that moment and helped me a lot.”
From my point of view, being here at Liverpool is a really good fit. I love it. The club has given me a lot of opportunities to develop a really good football team.
“Of course, there are a lot of people talking constantly about things. If you win a game, you are the best. If you lose a game, you have no clue about football. That’s the world out there, but inside this club we are not involved in that because we don’t think in that way.
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QUIZ: Can you name every Liverpool Premier League goalscorer at Craven Cottage?
“What I will say is that I have enough confidence to say I am the right manager for this club at this moment.
“Of course, we will see how that is in the future. We all have to prove every day that we are in the right place. So far it has all worked out for me here – and hopefully it will last a bit longer. That would be cool.
“Someone told me what was said by Beckenbauer. No, it doesn’t put pressure on me.
“I am blessed to have known him for 14 years. It is something quite special and I think I can say we are friends.When he speaks positively about me, it is just like the king knighting a man ‘sir’.
“There is no bigger football legend in Germany than Franz Beckenbauer. It’s a compliment to me and a compliment to Liverpool. But I am very happy with the clubs I have had and I am very happy with the club I’m at now.”
The 18-year-old was on Liverpool’s radar in 2017 before interest cooled amid talk of a transfer to Tottenham, but the teenager remained at Fulham and has been one of their best players of what has been a troubled first year back in the Premier League.
Sessegnon’s contract expires in the summer of 2020 meaning the next transfer window is realistically the Cottagers’ last chance to sell the talented and versatile teen for a sizable sum.
Contract talks have reportedly stalled between the two parties and Sessegnon is unlikely to drop into the Championship, should Fulham fail to escape out of the bottom three.
James Pearce and Ian Doyle report from Craven Cottage as Liverpool aim to go top of the Premier League
• Franz Beckenbauer says Klopp would be good fit at Bayern• Liverpool manager wants to stay at Anfield long term
Beckenbauer is Der Kaiser rather than the king, though when he speaks everyone in Germany listens, and after Liverpool had knocked out Bayern he let it be known that he thought the former Borussia Dortmund manager would be a very good fit for his club because of his penchant for quick, attacking football. There is no bigger legend in Germany than Franz Beckenbauer, it feels great he speaks positively about me, Klopp said. It is just like the king with his sword calling a man sir.
Read more If he thinks that, it is a compliment to Liverpool. Bayern have done everything right in the last 10 or 15 years without making many mistakes but I feel I am a good fit where I am. I love it here, there are lots of opportunities to develop an already really good team. I have enough confidence to say I am the right manager for Liverpool at the moment, though in football we all constantly have to prove ourselves.
So far it has worked out and hopefully it will last a lot longer. That would be cool, because I hope that in 50 or 60 years I can be remembered without referring to managing many different clubs. I am happy with the clubs I have had.
Liverpool spared international break issues with Sadio Mane and long-distance travellers
Liverpool can go back to the top of the league with a win at Fulham on Sunday afternoon, which would complete a week that featured a satisfying performance and a favourable draw in the Champions League quarter-finals. Porto should not be underestimated – Klopp makes it his business to ensure his players do not underestimate anyone – but they appear the least dangerous last-eight opponents and Liverpool won 5-0 at the Estádio do Dragão en route to last seasons final.
Sadio Mané scored a hat-trick in that game and the striker is back to his top form with four goals in his past couple of games, including the exquisite finish that surprised Manuel Neuer and his defence in Munich. Its good that weve split the goals a little bit, Klopp said, putting a positive slant on the fact the unstoppable Mohamed Salah of last season has gone six games without scoring. Everyone criticised Neuer for the first goal but it was world class from Sadio.
Read more Klopp feels happy about his sides progress up to now, even if they are not quite hitting the heights that saw them topple Manchester City in the last eight of the Champions League a year ago. City have the advantage in the Premier League and Klopp is aware that dropping any points at all between now and the end of the season would probably put the title out of reach for another year but he feels Liverpool are rising to a different challenge to the one posed last term. Opponents are more aware of the ability of the front three and are setting up more defensively in order to neutralise them. Teams are showing us more respect and we have to get used to it, Klopp said. Theres nothing good without something bad but we have adapted well. We are much more calm in difficult situations but still creative.
How Bayern played at Anfield when they came here was obviously a big sign of respect and the same is true of Manchester City. The better you get the more respect you get, thats how a team develops, but we respect all the other teams as well, including Fulham.
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It has probably occurred to Fulham supporters that Liverpools illustrious attack might run riot against the team with the worst defensive record in the league but Klopp does not intend to take anything for granted. Fulham have their own problems and reasons for wanting the points, he said. We just have to concentrate, and try to win the game without thinking of the end of the season, the Champions League or the international break. If we can forget about all that and simply focus on winning the next game then well be fine. We all feel we have a big opportunity. We have improved a lot and developed a lot but we know we havent won anything yet.