Jurgen Klopp has cleared up any doubt that Liverpool do not take domestic cups seriously.
The club have claimed many top honours in the last few years including the Premier and Champions League titles along with the Club World Cup and Super Cup.
But when it comes to cups on the domestic scene, the Reds have yet to make it past the FA Cup 5th round under Klopp, while their last semi final appearance in the League Cup came in 2017.
Now after five years they are back at this point of the competition again, and speaking ahead of the first leg against Arsenal the manager wanted to clear up any misconceptions about where the clubs priorities lie.
The Mirror reported Klopp as saying:
“ We are desperate to reach this final - we always wanted to be in these finals actually.
“There is a complete misunderstanding (that we don't care) - we are here to win trophies, and that is a trophy and we are determined to go through.
“If anyone thinks we don't want to win, I cannot help, sorry. We actually really try, honestly, all the time, constantly every day, and let’s see what we can get this year. Something, hopefully."
The club took a fair bit of heat last week regarding this tie with some critics thinking that they wanted to alter the rules and put a proposal to the EFL to make it a one-legged affair.
However Klopp refused that out of hand, but did say that would be the sensible thing moving forward.
“The second semi-final is actually only good for one thing, it’s for the EFL probably, from a financial point of view. But I think we should or could find their solution in the future.
Not for this year; we didn’t ask for [it], no. Just in general. I think all top-class people in football, especially coaches, agree we have to reduce the amount of games in the long term definitely. That’s how it is.
At one point we have to talk about these kind of things but it’s not for that game. We have two semi-finals and we are happy and hopeful we can play both, so that’s what we want to do.
Once again, Liverpool will be once again without Divock Origi for the clash against the Gunners with Klopp give no real clear timetable for his return.
However there could be a surprise inclusion with Klopp weighing up who to put in goal.
Normally there wouldn’t be a choice as Caoimhin Kelleher is the keeper for domestic cup competitions.
But the manager is also keen to give Alisson some minutes after his COVID lay-off and he explained the reasons why.
“Caoimh is the goalkeeper for this competition but there is a chance Ali will play tomorrow just because of the situation we were in,” said Klopp during his pre-match preview on Wednesday.
“I think he needs the game now. We will see how we decide it finally but there is a good chance that Ali will play tomorrow just because of the situation with COVID and everything, when he was out.
“We all need to make sure the boys have as much rhythm as they can get. So there’s a good chance Ali will start tomorrow. But the competition is actually Caoimh’s competition, that’s true.”