Jurgen Klopp said there were moments during lockdown he feared Liverpool would be denied the chance to close out their chase for the club's first title in 30 years.
Liverpool need just six points from their remaining nine matches to win the Premier League, and have Everton on Sunday at Goodison Park in the Merseyside derby. But when football was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, there were a number of scenarios talked about on how to restart the season or even void the campaign.
- Insider Notebook: Top clubs face scramble to renew contacts
Klopp, talking on Friday in his prematch news conference, said he did not consider the ramifications of postponing the season at the start of lockdown, but as conversations developed and he started hearing people calling for the season to be voided or decided on a points per game method, he grew increasingly concerned.
"I got worried when they started talking about voiding the season," Klopp said. "It would've been really, really, really hard. I felt it physically.
"We were really happy when it was decided we'd play again. There were moments during the discussions -- you know how long they were -- where people brought it up from time to time, for different reasons and when that was off the table I felt relieved.
"If they did points per game and we couldn't have played then we would have been champions, but now we aren't. We have to play for it, that's great -- that's how it should be in sports. And now we go for it."
Klopp said he has been keeping a close eye on the Bundesliga and other Premier League matches since the seasons resumed and has seen players and teams show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Aston Villa and Sheffield United's teams and backroom staff, along with the referee, took a knee just after starting their match Wednesday and Klopp said his team will be prepared to do anything to help eradicate racism.
"If football is a role model for anything in life, it's for equality, that everyone's exactly the same," Klopp said. "It's about who you are.
"Judge people only because of who they are and not other things. It's so dumb to not do things like that, so it's hard to understand how it could be like this.
"But it is, so we have to stand up, or kneel. Whatever we have to do, we will do, 100%, to solve this situation for now and the future. We can't change the past, but we can change the future."
Klopp also spoke of how proud he was of Jordan Henderson leading the "Players Together" initiative.
"I know they do a lot of things without talking about it -- that's what makes me proud," he added. "I was now surprised players were immediately ready to help in this difficult time."
And on Marcus Rashford's campaign to force the government to into a U-turn on offering free school meals, Klopp said: "I couldn't respect that more. It's a shame he [Rashford] had to do it as those things should be natural, but there was something to do and he did it in an incredible manner."
Meanwhile, Klopp would not be drawn on the club's reported pursuit of Timo Werner, who has since signed for Chelsea, but he did give a promising update on the squad's fitness with Mohamed Salah and Andy Robertson passed fit for Sunday's Merseyside derby while Alisson is likely to return in goal having missed the last three matches pre-lockdown with a hip injury.
Klopp also voiced his support for the Premier League allowing teams to make five substitutions in the remaining matches this season.
"It's necessary, I'm really happy we all agreed on that," he added.