Jurgen Klopp insists his feet are firmly on the ground despite Liverpool’s emergence as favourites for the Premier League title.
The Reds head to Manchester City on Thursday night with the chance to open up a nine-point lead at the top of the table, as their title credentials are put to the ultimate test.
Their remarkable unbeaten record, coupled with a mid-season wobble from Pep Guardiola’s men, mean it has to be considered Liverpool’s title to lose, and after 29 years without top-flight success, fans are beginning to dream.
Nonetheless, Klopp refuses to get carried away and dismisses the hype surrounding his in-form side.
“We don’t feel it,” the German told talkSPORT’s Jim White.
“We know that we are in a good moment, but it’s not important.
“That’s how the world is: there are the few who have to work for the dream and the few who only have to dream.
“We are, for sure, the ones who have to work for it.
“In no sport in the world do you celebrate before you are past the finish line.
“We are in a good moment, we know that. Before the season started, the target was to qualify for the Champions League.
“We are not part of the hype. Sometimes the boys are the reason for it, but we are not part of it.”
Klopp has good reason to feel confident heading to the Etihad: he is the only manager in world football to consistently get the better of Guardiola.
The German has won over half of his meetings with the Spaniard down the years, including two thumping victories in last season’s Champions League quarter-finals.
However, the Reds boss insists his record means nothing as he prepares to face what, in his mind, is the world’s greatest football team.
“They’re an unbelievably strong team,” he added.
“For me they’re still the best team in the world and I don’t say that because Pep [Guardiola] said something similar about us.
“I said it a month ago and it hasn’t changed.
“Yes, they lost a couple of games in December. That can happen to each football team in the world, but it doesn’t say anything about their quality.
“I watched the Chelsea game, the whole 90 minutes, and I think somebody asked [Maurizio] Sarri after the game ‘how did you win that match?’ And he said ‘I don’t know’.
“If you asked Roy Hodgson after the Crystal Palace game, he would’ve said something similar.
“No team in the world goes to Manchester City and expects to win. Not Barcelona, not Real Madrid, not Juventus – nobody.
“We knew how we had to play to have a chance of winning against City. We never knew the way to beat them. It doesn’t mean anything for the next game.
“It only gives them an extra boost motivation-wise.
“We have to use our full, complete toolbox. If we do that, we have a chance.”