Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp told reporters yesterday (25 January 2016) that it was important to his players that they win the League Cup, saying that nobody ever remembers the runner-up. "Never heard about second place in Carling Cup," said Klopp, using the championship's commercial name. Does anybody know who got it four years ago? I don't think so."
"So that's the situation, but it is the only possibility to go to the final if you can win it so that's what we have to do. And reaching a final is great but in the end it is only memorable if you win it and that's what we have to do. But that's a long time, we have a little time till or we could have a little bit of time until then, so yeah. But tomorrow is only one target: go to the final and then celebrate it more in your mind than in the real world because we have the next game on Saturday."
Klopp said it was important not to miss an opportunity to win a competition, and his players were set on reaching the tournament final. "Of course it is football and you should not waste opportunities of winning something," he said. "I know for the players it is very important – this game, really important. So they are here much longer than I, than I am, and that is the most important thing. They want to go to the final."
Klopp said that Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren could be playing again against Stoke City after three weeks out with injury, but full-back Nathaniel Clyne could miss the game due to a knee injury. Lovren has not played since injuring his hamstring in the first leg of the semi-final on 5 January, but has returned to training with the first team.
"Dejan – after three weeks he trained yesterday, a complete session with the team," Klopp told a news conference. "That was good, but after three weeks we will have to see. So if nothing happens in the next 24 hours with Kolo [Toure] and Mama [Sakho] we should do it again because Steven [Caulker] can't play."