Jurgen Klopp admits he never expected Liverpool to get so close to winning an unprecedented quadruple as they prepare for Sunday’s Merseyside derby against Everton.
Klopp’s side are bidding to become the first English club to lift all four major trophies in a single season.
They have already won the League Cup, will face Chelsea in the FA Cup final in May and are locked in a tense title race with Manchester City, who are one point ahead with six games left.
The Reds could also win the Champions League, with a semi-final first leg against Villarreal looming next week.
Klopp has repeatedly played down Liverpool’s hopes of a clean sweep and he is shocked that they have reached the final weeks of the season still in with a chance of making history.
“It is a situation we didn’t expect to be in and we’ve never been in this situation,” Klopp said on Friday. “It’s incredibly tough, we play pretty much all the time.
“I didn’t expect us to win the League Cup, be in an FA Cup final, semi-final of the Champions League and one point behind the leader of the table.
“We love the situation we are in. You cannot plan it that you are still in and around everything. What we know, there’s nothing really achieved so far yet, or it’s not a lot.”
Liverpool’s surge in the second half of the season has taken even Klopp by surprise — in January they were 14 points behind defending Premier League champions City.
“We had an absolutely OK first part of the season, but it was not that people were over the moon when you are 14 points behind the leader,” he said.
“What the boys made of that was pretty special so far, but that’s it. We knew we will be better. But that we will be in this position, I had no idea about.”
By the time Liverpool kick off against Everton on Sunday, they could be four points behind Pep Guardiola’s City, who will expect to beat second-bottom Watford on Saturday.
With Everton sitting just one place and one point above the relegation zone, there is even more at stake in the derby than usual.
“It was always very intense and, yes, this one is important for both, but I cannot remember when it was not important for us,” Klopp said.
“Maybe a little bit more (than usual) but always intense. These derbies never lacked intensity, to be honest.”