Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits “the future has already begun” as he reflected on how his side will recover next season after a disappointing season.
While the Reds boss hasn’t given up on a late run into the top four, he’s realistic enough to know that Champions League football looks unlikely with Liverpool trailing Newcastle by nine points.
He has made some tactical changes to his team in recent weeks, partly with a view to next season, but believes they cannot afford to squander the opportunity to rebuild if they miss Europe.
“So the future has already begun, let me put it that way, but while we’re here we have to win football games now,” said Klopp.
“Obviously if we don’t qualify for a European competition it would be a huge disappointment but we should make sure it doesn’t waste time during this time.
“I hope we can take some things away from this season that are more useful than just telling ourselves it was the wrong path.”
Klopp admits he was surprised at how quickly their famous game of counter-pressing disappeared between the end of last season and the start of this season.
With two wins shy of an unprecedented quadruple, another challenge on four fronts was expected, but it just hasn’t materialized.
“What we’ve learned a lot this season is how it doesn’t work,” he added.
“So from a counter-pressing monster to a pretty much non-existent counter-pressing side.
“I thought it was a long way off to be honest, but it happened pretty quickly. It was pretty much done.
“Going back to doing it fairly naturally isn’t that easy, especially in a season where you’re constantly playing the next game.
“That’s how things happen and when you’re trying to sort them, you have to turn the right screws. That’s it.
“So now we know how it doesn’t work, which is good. It’s important information.
“Finally we know. Because last year, when it didn’t work out, we still got the result.”