Klopp banking on Anfield's power to help Liverpool
A pretty big theme of Jurgen Klopp's 3 and 1/2 years at Anfield is talk about the atmosphere at Anfield. During his early tenure he talked a lot about what he'd seen and heard about the crowd's connection with the players on the pitch.
It's no big exaggeration to say that he was quite disappointed with what he saw to begin with. Fans sitting silently, en masse, as their team struggled and laboured. Fans walking out with 15 minutes to go, in order to miss the traffic.
Then there were the grumbles, the moans, even booing our own. This was often the final straw for Klopp.
He immediately understand that the Anfield crowd were undergoing a transition off the pitch, as much as the team was on it and he needed to harness that crows - the famous 'extra man' - in order to put Liverpool 'back on their perch'.
It started off slowly but an early trip to a European final saw a new series of stories and memories for fans and that connection grew again.
A quick fast forward to 2 and a 1/2 years later and we're a force in Europe again, narrowly missed out on a Champions League and are 2nd in the league on goal-difference with just 12 games to go.
And with the Anfield crowd blinking first in recent weeks, Klopp is again attempting to harness that most powerful of Anfield assets: the crowd.
Speaking to the clubs' official match-day programme, Klopp said: "The most important thing always is that your support is never taken for granted. That is not allowed.
"When some people were critical of the atmosphere against Leicester I was grateful that they filled the ground on a night when the weather wasn’t the best and stayed with the team until the very end.
"This is why I come onto the pitch at the end of each game. It is wonderful if we can celebrate together but the main thing is that I show my appreciation for our supporters. If I could shake the hand of every one of them I would, but I don’t think the stadium can stay open long enough for me to do so for 50,000 people!
"What I would say is that it makes total sense that we all do our best when we are at Anfield. Whether it is me as manager, the players – who, like me, are fortunate to represent this club – or those of you in the stands, we all know that the greatest moments come when we all pull together. That is how I understand Liverpool. That, I would argue, is the only way to understand Liverpool.
"The good thing is we already know this. I do not use social media but a friend showed me a statement made by Spion Kop 1906 earlier this week and, for me, it captured everything that this club is about. The most important line said ‘Unity is Strength’ and I can think of no better message at this time.
"On and off the pitch it is about the Liverpool family and nobody else, especially on days like today when we need our opponent to feel the power of Anfield."
If you happen to be lucky enough to travel to Anfield today, with a ticket and get to support our team, sing your hearts out, support every lad in Red on that pitch and make sure they're under no illusions as to who the home fans are behind and drag that bloody ball across the line!