Jurgen Klopp addresses Liverpool fans before Carabao Cup match

Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool are the current reigning champions of the Carabao Cup and will begin this year’s defence of the trophy at home to Derby County in the third round on Wednesday night.

Ahead of the game, manager Jurgen Klopp has sent a special message thanking supporters and detailing why getting behind in the team in these early rounds is just as important as the final at Wembley.

“Winning any trophy is of course always special but each one is also special in its own right and in the case of the Carabao Cup it was that so many players were involved over the course of the campaign and each of them played a part,” Klopp wrote in his matchday programme notes.

“The problem with any final – and it is definitely not the worst problem in the world – is that they are such unbelievable occasions that everything that happens on that particular day is bigger than everything that has happened before.

“But without the moments along the way, the performances that make the difference, the victories that take you an extra step, nothing that happened at Wembley would have been possible.

“The final does not begin at Wembley in February. It starts at Anfield tonight and this is because the only way we can arrive at Wembley is by getting things right in the earlier rounds.”

Liverpool head into the fixture against Derby on the back of two wins at home to Napoli in the Champions League (2-0) and at Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League (2-1), after which Klopp made a point of celebrating with fans in the away end.

It hasn’t been the smoothest of starts this season for Liverpool, with the two shock defeats to Nottingham Forest and Leeds United still fresh in the memory, but Klopp is grateful for the ongoing support from Liverpool fans despite the turbulence.

“I would like to thank our supporters for the difference you have made in recent fixtures. The away end at Tottenham on Sunday was as special as it always is and it felt really good to reward our travelling support with a really good win and a really good performance,” Klopp added.

“At Anfield, the backing we received after our defeat to Leeds United and also when it seemed Napoli had gone in front last week is what makes our support so special.

“This is not something we could ever or would ever take for granted and it is the main reason why we strive to create new memories like the ones that were made in the Carabao Cup last season. We know that this will not be easy but we will do our very best.”

Liverpool defeated Chelsea 11-10 on penalties during last season’s final at Wembley, earning a record ninth EFL Cup and ending Manchester City’s recent dominance after their four consecutive wins in the competition.