Klopp in fighting mood again ahead of 'Champions League game in the Premier League' at Spurs

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Jurgen Klopp acknowledges Liverpool cannot afford to "be picky" after a slow start in the Premier League, meaning they are ready to fight again against a Tottenham side he never relishes facing.

Liverpool head into the weekend in ninth place, 15 points behind leaders Arsenal, 13 shy of champions Manchester City and 10 off opponents Spurs, who are third.

The Reds have lost their past two league matches to Nottingham Forest and Leeds United, both of whom were in the bottom three heading into those games.

For that reason, Klopp cannot write off a meeting with "a confident, strong opponent" at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday.

"It's a big game for us, a massive game for us – difficult as well, Spurs away," he said.

"I didn't count the points distance between us and them, but we cannot be picky with opponents and games where we want to get points. We have to go for it, definitely, but it's difficult."

Klopp is aware of the scrutiny around his every word while Liverpool are struggling, but he insists there is no alternative to talking up the "fighting" mood required to rescue their season.

That attitude will be needed again in a fixture of which Klopp has never been "1,000 per cent convinced", even if Tottenham are winless in nine in the league against Liverpool going back to 2017.

A positive, the manager accepted, is the way Liverpool have risen to the challenge of facing elite opposition this season, advancing in the Champions League and beating Napoli in midweek.

"To explain wins is really easy, because nobody listens really," the manager said. "Everybody is in a great mood, you're just smiling and 'it's in good shape'.

"When you lose, it's much more difficult; now, each word is really important. But I don't have five million different words for it.

"If you want to get out of something, you first have to get through it. That's where we are.

"It might take time, but it's not that we say now Tottenham is too early for us to really show up already. No, it's not; we go there and want to be at our best, 100 per cent.

"But sitting here now, being 1,000 per cent convinced 'yes, we will'? What I can tell you: it never was [easy] before going to Tottenham. I never thought 'good moment to face Tottenham; let's smash them'. That was never the case.

"It's a difficult place to go, a really good team, extremely well coached, and a real fighting unit. There are no friendly games against them. Antonio's on his toes on the sidelines, the players are in challenges, all these kinds of things, so it will be a tough one.

"But that's actually what we all want; it's like a Champions League game in the Premier League. That's how we will approach it.

"I can imagine in a phase like this it takes a bit longer [talking about defeats]. 'Always the same: fighting, doing this, oh, again' – these kinds of things.

"Sorry. Without fighting, we shouldn't even try. Yes, we have to fight through this; that's the case, that's how it is.

"You cannot play through it, you cannot say now to forget the defending stuff, 'let's just circle around them, pass the ball through them, nutmegs here, backheels there'. That's not how it works. That's why we're in the mood we are. It's absolutely okay.

"It's rather good that in between... you lose against Leeds, and I couldn't have felt worse, no chance, but then you play a good game against a team in form, and it gives you a lift. That's normal. Here we go.

"Now, we play against Tottenham and try to feel like we did after the Napoli game."