Wednesday 21 August, 2019

John Barnes confident Liverpool can handle title pressure

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

John Barnes is confident Liverpool will not wilt under the pressure of ending their 29-year wait for a league title, despite missing the chance to go seven points clear.

Manchester City's defeat to Newcastle United on Tuesday opened the door for Liverpool to strengthen their grip on first place in the Premier League.

However, the Reds were held to a 1-1 draw by Leicester City at Anfield 24 hours later, meaning their advantage only stands at five points.

Barnes is not concerned, though, and believes Jurgen Klopp can guide Liverpool to success this season.

"It's not all doom and gloom," he told talkSPORT. "It was a great opportunity to go seven points clear, but we've added another point.

"It's only January and teams, including Liverpool and Manchester City, will drop more points. We're not going to have another situation like last year where City went so far ahead of everybody else and didn't drop points.

"Liverpool drawing against a struggling Leicester team, City losing to a struggling Newcastle team – this happens in the Premier League.

"So I'd rather see this as a point gained. Yes, it's an opportunity lost to go seven clear, but we're one point further ahead.

He added: "The pressure isn't necessarily going to show now, there's still a long way to go. The pressure really comes into focus around March.

"But I think the Jurgen Klopp factor is very important – he really takes every game as it comes, the pressure is to perform in every game, he puts demands on those players to give 100 per cent every time. So I think they're able to handle the pressure."

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: