Shropshire Star

Liverpool v Wolves preview: Gary O’Neil salutes ‘icon’ Jurgen Klopp but wants to ruin farewell

Gary O’Neil has paid tribute to ‘iconic’ outgoing Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, but has called on his Wolves side to do everything to finish the season with a win.

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Tomorrow’s game at Anfield will see Klopp take the centre of attention as he departs Liverpool.

O’Neil, who spent a brief spell as a coach in Liverpool’s academy, was full of praise for the German – but insists Wolves must focus on upsetting the odds and securing a place in the top half of the table.

“He’s an iconic figure in Liverpool with what he’s done for the football club,” O’Neil said of Klopp.

“Results, of course, but also the unity, feel of the place and momentum.

“What he’s created there is really, really special and he’ll get a send off that represents how they feel about him, as they rightly should because he’s been one of the best Premier League managers ever. He’ll be up there with some of the greats with the job that he’s done. It’s good to be part of a game like that for us, in the last game of the season, and, as much as I want Jurgen to have a nice send off with his fans, there is still a chance we can finish in the top 10.

“If you’d have said to me at the start of the season that we could win the last game and potentially finish in the top 10, I’d have definitely signed up for it.

“We go there with that as our real focus.

“Of course we’ll be respectful to the occasion and Jurgen, but we’re desperate to win another game.

“We’ve worked very hard this season to keep ourselves in a spot where we still have an opportunity on the last day to finish in the top 10.”

With most of the attention on Liverpool and Klopp, O’Neil was keen to give the German his credit, before once again bringing it back to a potential Wolves upset.

He added: “The general way that a manager’s journey goes at a football club is some good bits, some bad bits, and then it generally ends on a bad bit.

“To spend that amount of time at the club and for 99 per cent of it to be unbelievably successful, is an incredible achievement.

“Especially at a club of that stature. It’s one of the biggest clubs in world football and to have that impact is truly impressive.

“I don’t know what his plans are but if he decides to manage again, I’m sure he’ll be very successful wherever he goes.

“I’m looking forward to seeing him on Sunday and seeing if we can get the better of his incredible Liverpool side and finish the season as strongly as we can.”

Wolves were also handed an injury boost with Pedro Neto set to be on the bench after recovering from a serious knee injury.

Jose Sa is also expected to be available after illness kept him out of the last game. However, Pablo Sarabia has a knock and is a doubt for the fixture, meaning O’Neil may choose to stick with a midfield three instead of a front three.