Ole outlines the significance of Sunday’s game
Manchester United v Liverpool is a fixture that never needs added significance, but this Sunday’s Premier League meeting between England’s most successful clubs could result in two definitive outcomes.
For that to happen, we’d need West Ham United to drop points away to Burnley on Sunday.
While the boss was keen to highlight that the Reds’ aims always exceed just securing a spot in Europe's premier tournament, he did acknowledge the importance of playing in the competition next season and feels it reflects the team’s development in recent years.
Watch Ole's pre-Liverpool press conference in full
The boss talks about a top-four finish, the Merseysiders’ injury problems and more, in his press conference…
“That is the dream, that is what everyone wants but it is almost like another trophy: second, third or fourth because the Champions League is such a massive tournament to be in.
“You play against the best. There are loads of financial gains by being there. Last season, when we were so far behind, our aim was to get in the top four.
“Sometimes top four is not even secure. Arsenal and Chelsea could still win their respective tournaments and not be [in the] top four [in which case fourth would drop into the Europa League], so we have just got to do our job and get into the Champions League ourselves.”
However, Ole isn’t concerning himself with that particular fact, or with putting a dent in Liverpool’s hopes of gaining a Champions League place.
“We go out there, we are just thinking about winning ourselves. What that does to Liverpool can’t be of our concern,” said the Norwegian.
“Throughout the season you have games you look forward to and this Liverpool game is one of the biggest of the season. It doesn’t matter if we are first or second, third or fourth. No matter, this is a massive, massive game.
“We are just focused on one game at a time,” he added, when asked about the possibility of squad rotation with such an important match being sandwiched between both legs of our Europa League semi-final.
“If we manage some good results in the next few league games there will be minutes for more players who deserve to play more. I have got quite a few who haven’t played enough but we have Liverpool, then Villa, then Leicester, Fulham and Wolves and we still need to get to the final, so I will take it as it comes. It is hard to plan too far ahead.”