Jurgen Klopp needs time to turn Liverpool into genuine title contenders, says Swansea manager Garry Monk.
Liverpool manager Klopp has raised expectations during his short time on Merseyside with only one defeat in nine games and impressive Barclays Premier League wins at Chelsea and Manchester City.
Title favourites City were thrashed 4-1 last weekend to persuade some observers that Klopp could steer Liverpool into the Premier League shake-up as early as this season.
But Monk, who has an insight into the demands at Liverpool as his former Swansea manager and good friend Brendan Rodgers was Klopp’s predecessor, says too much should not expected of the charismatic German right now.
“They will need time to get to the point of being title contenders – whether it be this season or in coming seasons,” Monk said ahead of Swansea’s league visit to Liverpool on Sunday.
“Whenever Liverpool appoint a manager, the expectation is for them to be title challengers.
“That is the way the club perceives itself.
“Whether that is this season or next season, that remains to be seen.
“Liverpool have not been genuine title contenders for a while, but the expectation will always be there because of the type of club it is.”
Klopp’s side followed up their emphatic victory at the Etihad Stadium with a 2-1 midweek home defeat of Bordeaux to secure qualification for the knock-out stages of the Europa League.
But Monk insists Swansea’s focus has been on themselves than Liverpool’s revival as they attempt to stop a slide which has brought only one win in nine league games and put the manager’s position under increasing scrutiny.
“He (Klopp) speaks exceptionally well and the team are in a good run of form,” Monk said.
“But this week has been about us and concentrating the players on what we do best and improving in all areas.
“For us, it’s about getting that performance. That’s the biggest part.
“When you’re in these periods you need a complete performance that gives you that belief to get through it.
“We know they ‘re capable of it and it’s just getting that one result, that one performance.
“Footballers are very strange creatures sometimes as they can relieve a whole cloud, even though the cloud might be elsewhere.
“In their minds it relieves it and they go again.”
Swansea’s former Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey misses out through suspension and Monk has a number of selection dilemmas ahead of the trip to Anfield.
He made four changes for the disappointing 2-2 home draw with Bournemouth but the likes of Kyle Bartley, Leon Britton, Wayne Routledge and Eder all appeared rusty.
“They were difficult circumstances,” Monk said.
“We made the changes with the right intentions, and those players were part of the team that fought back from 2-0 down when as a team we were not performing at our best.
“They deserve big credit for that, and you don’t judge them on that performance.
“Any player will tell you they need a run of games to get up to speed.”