Klopp the right man, says Liverpool legend John Barnes, but urges fans to be realistic
But Reds legend Barnes says it is too soon to talk about winning the Premier League
It has been less than two months since Juergen Klopp took charge of Liverpool and, already, expectations are high among the Anfield faithful.
In the 10 games the German has presided over, the Reds have lost just once, and their six wins include convincing triumphs away to Chelsea and Manchester City.
For good reason, Liverpool fans are starting to get excited that they could soon reclaim their place as England's finest, under a man who led Borussia Dortmund to back-to-back Bundesliga titles from 2010 to 2012.
Some members of the Kop are even optimistic that the Premier League trophy could be headed to Anfield next May, although Reds legend John Barnes believes that could be a year too soon.
While it also looks like there could be a real chance Liverpool could at least get the bragging rights of finishing above Manchester United, Barnes insists that should be the least of their priorities.
"If Man United finish in 18th and we finish 17th, should we be rejoicing?" he replied, when asked by The New Paper if fans would be satisfied as long as they finish above their bitter rivals.
"The target shouldn't be to be above anybody, but to finish as high as we can without wondering about anyone else.
"We have to stop focusing on (the mindset that) we're happy as long as Man United lose, and just do as well as we can.
"I think what Liverpool can now do is fight for fourth spot, maybe third. But to say we're going to win the league because of Klopp is ridiculous.
"When you look at the quality of the team, we're a good side with a good manager and we have to challenge for an European place, but we still have to be patient about winning the league.
"With time and support, Juergen Klopp can take us to where we want to be."
Barnes, who played 407 games for the club and was capped 79 times by England, also defended Klopp's predecessor, Brendan Rodgers, who was ultimately replaced after coming under much criticism from the fans.
The 52-year-old said: "I'm happy with how (Liverpool) are doing, but I was also happy with what they were doing under Brendan Rodgers.
"When we finished second in the league under him, they loved Rodgers.
"All of a sudden they don't, but that's the nature of football fans.
"They're rejoicing now, but if Liverpool finish fourth next year, will they still be rejoicing?
"You have to be realistic with expectations and I think Juergen Klopp is now maximising the potential of the team, but that doesn't mean they're going to win the league.
"They still need to invest and bring in better players in January and next summer and then we'll see.
"Until then, all you can ask any manager to do is to maximise the potential of the team he has at his disposal."
"We have to stop focusing on (the mindset that) we’re happy as long as Man United lose."
- Reds legend John Barnes
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