Liverpool must ignore ’emotion’ in Premier League title challenge

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva has told ESPN FC that Jurgen Klopp’s team must blank out the “emotion” surrounding the club’s pursuit of the Premier League title if they are to end Anfield’s 27-year wait for domestic glory this season.

The Premier League leaders travel to Southampton on Saturday aiming to consolidate top spot as the club attempts to become league champions for the first time since 1990.

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Having been a central figure in the Liverpool team which fell at the final hurdle under Brendan Rodgers in 2013-14, Lucas said Klopp’s squad must find a way to cope with the desperation of the club’s supporters in terms of winning the title.

“Every time Liverpool is in a good position, people start to talk about titles very often and it is the only thing they say,” Lucas told ESPN FC. “Of course, it has been a long time that Liverpool don’t win a very big trophy, but for us, we must just try to keep the level of concentration and focus and leave the emotion to the outside.

“If we had won previous leagues, we would probably have won that [in 2014]. But like I say, every time there is a chance, people get too excited and sometimes if you let the excitement come, it can affect your focus because we are human beings.

“We are excited because the moment is great, but you have to know the limits of focus and excitement and don’t mix them because there could be a problem.”

Lucas, in his 10th season at Anfield, has just one winners’ medal — the 2012 League Cup — to show for his time on Merseyside, but he says there is now genuine cause for optimism at the club under Klopp.

“It would be very special, my 10th season, to achieve something special,” Lucas said. “I think the environment we are in now is a lot calmer, but we try to not put on too much pressure because there is always pressure at such a big club.

“The fans want us to win games, but more pressure wouldn’t be helpful, so you just have to find the right balance. The way we have started this season has been a big positive, the group is very strong and everyone is pushing each other.

“The results are happening at the moment, but there will be moments when we are not winning like we did against Watford in the last game. So we have to know how to cope with that pressure because every team goes through a bad period.”