Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is confident the "power of the club" means they will never be without Champions League football for long.

While the Reds boss is not considering the prospect of failing to qualify for Europe's elite competition this term, he insists Liverpool will not return to the wilderness years of the early part of the last decade.

After spending eight of 10 seasons in the Champions League from the 2001-02 season, they spent six campaigns from 2010-11 either in the Europa League or out of Europe completely.

Having won the tournament for a sixth time in 2019 their current run of four successive seasons is under threat after they slipped off the pace in the race for the top four.

Liverpool do, however, hold a 2-0 lead heading into their last-16 second leg tie against RB Leipzig next week.
Klopp sought to calm fears missing out this season would be the precursor to another long absence.

"This club will not be a regular out of the Champions League - this year is difficult we know that, but the potential and the power of the club is a completely different one," he said.

"I do not know the team 10 years ago but we are ready for a battle in this era, and with the team we have together.

"Seasons have momentum and we never really got it this year, that is true, but this club is in a really good position.

"In a difficult time obviously, but in a better position than other clubs I would say.

"I obviously did not think about what happened in the past but what I can say nobody has to worry about the future of the club because it is in good hands and has a really good team together, and so that is obviously the basis for a good future." 

Klopp understands the fears of fans who may be losing faith after a woeful run of results.

Defeat to Chelsea on Thursday was the fifth in succession – the club's worst run in their history – and they have won just three league matches since being top at Christmas.

A haul of just 12 points from the last 39 available has seen their title defence go up in smoke and left the players fighting for a top-four finish.

After three years of upward progress which have brought the Champions League and Premier League trophies to Anfield disillusion is growing among some supporters – but Klopp had no response to them.

"It is easy to believe when it is going well but in this moment, I have nothing. I cannot really tell the people in the moment what they should think," he said.

"If you want to doubt us and not the team, if you want to doubt me and the team in this moment, I think that it is possible because of the results.

"My understanding is if you are really with us, you judge our situation widely, and you see that this is a really difficult year where unity could be shown in an even more special kind (of way).

"And I’m pretty sure if our stadium could be full at the moment the majority of people wouldn’t like the game where we lose it, but the next game they would be there again full of belief, full of positivity, full of optimism.

"But it doesn’t say a lot about the players in general. It says a lot about the situation we are in at the moment, but not about the boys.

"If somebody wants to doubt us I can’t change that obviously. But if somebody wants to see us do well, and especially in the future see us do well again, he or she is welcome."

"The owners want me to sort the situation and I want to sort the situation with the players. That is the plan"

"Klopp admits results have been well below what is expected of his side, but while his players are underperforming he is the one who has to face up to the criticism"

But he says with the backing of owners Fenway Sports Group, whose support is unwavering, he will find a way through the malaise.

"We all expect more from us. We are pretty realistic about the things we do. I don’t feel that the team leaves me alone, standing in the fire," he said ahead of the visit of Fulham on Sunday.

"In England the situation is obviously like this where nobody else speaks at a club. The players can give interviews, but nobody above me speaks.

"In Germany, in this situation then typically the CEO, the president or the sporting director gives an interview and faces the questions (like), 'Is he still the right coach?’ and all these things.

"Then they have to say, ‘Yeah, yeah we trust him’. The first moment you have to say that then he is already halfway out the door.

"But the situation in the club is pretty clear as well. The owners want me to sort the situation and I want to sort the situation with the players. That is the plan."

Liverpool celebrate their 2019 triumph

The loss of Champions League football would mean the club take a significant financial hit on top of the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

It could also affect the composition of the squad both in the transfer window and in terms of players who may want to leave.

Klopp dismissed that prospect and struck a hard line in terms of players for whom the Champions League was a priority.

"I know we have loyalty from the players. It is not a situation where a player in the squad says, 'We are not in the Champions League so I have to leave'. That will not happen. I know them well enough to know that," said the manager.

"The club is in a different situation and it will not be an issue with new players I can say that.

"We said it years back if a player does not want to come to us because we don't play Champions League next season then I don't want him.

"And if a player wants to leave because we don't play Champions League then I don't want him. It is not a personal thing, but it is always like this.

"You always need to find the right squad for the challenges you face. Then you go for it. It is nothing I worry about."