Jurgen Klopp admits Liverpool weren't good enough for the Champions League and could miss out this season

He is motivated to take the Reds back to Europe's elite competition next season

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As he sat watching Barcelona’s incredible second-leg comeback against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday night, Jurgen Klopp didn’t himself miss the Champions League – because he knows Liverpool weren’t good enough to be there.

After a torrid start to 2017, the Reds took a big step towards Champions League qualification with a 3-1 victory over Arsenal to leapfrog them into the top four.

Should Klopp’s side manage a victory over Burnley at home on Sunday, the gap between themselves and fifth-placed Arsenal will be five points, although both the Gunners and sixth-placed Manchester United will have two games in hand.

And the German struck a pragmatic note in his press conference on Friday by insisting he wasn’t kicking his heels thinking ‘we should be there’ when the eyes of the footballing world were fixed on the Nou Camp.

“As a person I’m like this – what I don’t have, I don’t miss because it is pragmatic,” said Klopp. “I don’t miss Champions League because I know we were not good enough to qualify for it.

“I know it is wonderful to play there. I don’t need this feeling in front of the television that I would be highly motivated to go there next year but when I watched it this week, especially the Barcelona game, I thought ‘I love football’.

“It is unbelievable that things like this are possible. It was great to watch of course.”

Despite being in the all-important fourth place, Klopp admitted Liverpool could miss out on a place at Europe’s top table, with 11 games to go of the Premier League race.

Liverpool have already lost once to Burnley this season – their first defeat of the campaign – and all subsequent defeats have been to teams in the lower half of the table, while they have maintained a fantastic record against fellow members of the top six.

“We would be probably very good in the Champions League [in that case]. We need a wildcard!”

“Of course it is in our hands.  In this moment I think we should only think about how we can do it.

“Would it be a disappointment if we don’t reach it? Yes because we think we should qualify for it. Is it possible that we don’t qualify? Yes because of the league, because of the opponents and all that stuff.

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Liverpool's last Champions League adventure saw them dumped out at the Group Stages in 2014 (Getty)

“It would be because of us and we have to take that situation like it is. It is our big target of course. We want to do everything to get it.

“There are a lot of games to play, lot of things to do. That is how it is. For nobody it is already decided. As long as we have the opportunity I think we should try everything. It is wonderful to play there and it would be important for the club of course.”

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