Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool have grown stronger in the face of adversity this season as he backed his squad to kick on and showcase their top-four credentials.

The Reds find themselves playing catch up on their Premier League rivals after a turbulent few months but the manager is convinced that they have turned a corner since the wretched defeat to Tottenham at Wembley.

Despite the frustration of being pegged back by Chelsea last weekend, Liverpool go into Wednesday night’s trip to Stoke City having collected 10 points out of the last 12 on offer.

With Manchester United and Arsenal resurgent after missing out on the top four last term and runaway leaders Manchester City setting a ferocious pace at the summit, the battle for Champions League qualification promises to be tougher than ever.

“I’m not surprised,” Klopp said.

“We are in sixth place but we are close enough for pretty much everything and that’s good.

“We didn’t have a crisis but we had our ‘little hole’. We had it already with the draws against different teams, stuff like this, we didn’t lose a lot.

“I think we became stronger. We were very strong then we had a little problem after the first international break and since then we improve, improve, improve, get better and become consistent. “Tottenham was really exceptional in a not too nice way but all the rest form-wise was always really good and that’s very important and keeps us in the race.

“I’m really optimistic…

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