‘Dig in and stay in’: resilience key as epic season enters final lap | Andy Hunter

Jürgen Klopp believes rewards will be earned by clubs that can hang on while Pep Guardiola says team must be ready to suffer

Jürgen Klopp paused for a moment as he trawled his extensive English vocabulary for the appropriate word. He eventually settled for “resilience”. This, the Liverpool manager explained, is the quality that will define the fortunes of those Premier League clubs fighting for the title, Champions League qualification and survival over the coming six weeks. There can be no wavering now.

The time for worrying about injuries on international duty is over for another season. We can agonise over every Premier League point without interruption instead. Manchester City stand eight games from becoming the first club to retain the English title since Manchester United a decade ago. Liverpool are seven steps from the heaven of their first championship in 29 years. Klopp’s team have amassed more points after 31 matches than in the entirety of 24 of the 28 seasons since Liverpool last won the league, yet will be in second place should City win at Fulham on Saturday. Pep Guardiola’s champions have raised the bar and lowered the margin for error. Liverpool’s refusal to yield has delivered the most enthralling title race in years.

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