Jurgen Klopp has laughed off Pep Guardiola's suggestion that "everybody" in the UK supports Liverpool over Manchester City, while refusing to pour cold water on the idea Steven Gerrard could succeed him at Anfield ahead of his team's clash with Aston Villa.
City demolished Newcastle 5-0 on Sunday to move three points clear of the Reds in the Premier League title race with three games to go, mere days after the latter reached the Champions League final while the former fell short at the semi-final hurdle.
Guardiola suggested that he felt a broad bias against his side in his post-match comments, particularly in preference to his main rivals, but now his opposite number has brushed his words off.
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What has Klopp said on Guardiola's comments?
Klopp has also backtracked on his criticism of Tottenham, who he accused of negative tactics during their 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday.
“I live in Liverpool so, yes, here a lot of people want us to win the league – that's true - but even here only it's probably only 50 per cent. As a manager, and I had this experience recently, after a game we are obviously massively influenced by the game, by the situation," he said when quizzed on Guardiola's remarks.
"I said after the [Spurs] game 'They play like they play and are still only fifth'. It felt good in that moment but it was wrong.
"But it was just my feeling in that moment. I could not respect Antonio [Conte] more and what he is doing and how he organises teams.
"I don’t know exactly which situation Pep was in, after getting knocked of the Champions League that is obviously already difficult enough to take, but then of course Liverpool made it to the final and then you have these things like 'They only played Villarreal, we played Real [Madrid]' and then you say what you say.
"And he is right, on top of it. I was right about Tottenham, and he was right we won the Premier League only once. I have no idea if the whole country is supporting us, I don't know that.
"It is not the feeling I get when we go to other places and play there, it is actually the opposite, but maybe he knows more about that than me."
What has Klopp said on Gerrard's potential Liverpool future?
Before attention turns to a Champions League final date with Madrid on May 28, Klopp must keep the pressure up on City in the hunt for the league title - and will have to do so against a Liverpool legend in the shape of Gerrard, who became Villa boss earlier this season.
Long before his arrival at Villa Park, the former Reds midfielder was already mooted as a likely replacement for the German if he was to leave - and despite having just penned a new deal, Klopp certainly sees no reason why Gerrard would not be the one who ultimately inherits his job.
"My possible successor?" he added. "Yes, of course, it's possible. I have no idea, it's not my decision to make. So I think it's possible, that's it."