Liverpool don't have to win Premier League for season to be success - Jurgen Klopp

LIVERPOOL, England -- Jurgen Klopp has dismissed claims that Liverpool's season will only be a success if they win their first-ever Premier League title.

Liverpool have made their best start to a Premier League campaign but are two points behind champions Manchester City.

Klopp's side are unbeaten in the league after 11 games but have won only three of their last nine matches in all competitions following Tuesday's Champions League defeat at Red Star Belgrade.

"It's a very positive situation," the manager, whose side face struggling Fulham on Sunday, told a news conference on Friday. "The season so far, points-wise, the Premier League season, is really successful.

"But it doesn't really feel like that because of two reasons. The comparison with last year, the free-flowing football in a few games, and Man City, Chelsea and few others play a very good season. That should not be a surprise for us, so it isn't.

"Always you see we struggle and they win 6-0. Even if it's not Premier League, it's kind of this big gap.

"It feels a bit like this season can only be a success in the moment -- from how I feel it from all the questions I got asked after games and around games -- if we become champions in a year where our competitors are the champions of last year, the champions of two years ago [Chelsea], a refreshed Arsenal and a more experienced Tottenham and Man United.

"That's a really tough job, and we have no problem with that. We go for everything. We have to build on our situation, get better, get confidence.

"It's all OK, but this game on Tuesday was this kind of massive knock that was not expected. Now we have to react in the right way -- not only on Sunday, but in general."

Klopp said the perception of Liverpool's 2017-18 campaign, in which they scored 135 goals in all competitions, had affected assessments of his side's season so far.

"In general, the shape is good of the team," he said. "We played a lot of good games. I know still a lot of people -- maybe us as well -- compare a Premier League game which we win with the best game of last season. I'm not exactly sure which it was -- let me say Roma at home until they started scoring their goals.

"You cannot compare. We have to do it by ourselves. First and foremost, we really have to admit to ourselves a lot of things are better than last year.

"The spectacular football didn't happen in each game, but it didn't last year as well. The boys looked much more mature, but not in the last game. But in the games before, it was absolutely OK."

"It's all good. We can do better -- that's always the case. But we have to enjoy our football as well exactly in the moment because it was, so far, pretty successful."

Liverpool's goal difference is currently 12 worse than City's, but Klopp said he was not focusing on that ahead of the game against a Fulham team with the Premier League's worst defensive record.

"I would really be an idiot," he said. "A few people think I am, but not that much if I would talk about goal difference before that game.

"I'm not sure I can expect that, but it would help if you would watch a few Fulham games before you ask questions like this. I'm not sure how many games you watch over 90 minutes.

"This is a really strange situation for Fulham. I can imagine how they feel in the moment. The football is good, a lot of things are really good, they caused City problems in the Carabao Cup. It was really good football in a lot of moments.

"You will never score a goal against a team like Fulham with the quality they have only because you go in the game with the wrong attitude and think about scoring, scoring, scoring or whatever."

Klopp said Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita and Joe Gomez were all available for selection on Sunday.