Liverpool fans will still see trophyless season as success, says former Reds hero Gillespie

The European Cup winner believes that the Merseyside club and their Anfield faithful will still see 2018-19 as an achievement without silverware

Liverpool’s supporters will not be left dissatisfied by their campaign even if they walk away empty-handed, according to former club stalwart Gary Gillespie.

The Reds have been firmly in contention for both the Premier League and the Champions League this season, with their exploits on both a domestic and continental level arguably trumping their previous campaign.

However, Jurgen Klopp’s side look as if they will end up with nothing to show for their excellent season heading into Tuesday’s European semi-final with Barcelona.

They trail the Catalan club 3-0 heading to Anfield, while in the English top flight, they remain a point behind Manchester City with a game to go after Pep Guardiola’s side overcame Leicester City on Monday.

The prospect of coming so close to the first silverware of Klopp’s reign may be frustrating for many associated with the Merseyside outfit but Gillespie, a multiple European Cup winner with the club, believes that fans will be able to take the positives from their remarkable season.

"The mood on the red side of Merseyside is that we can't quite believe how good we've played and how we're going to come up that little bit short," the 58-year-old told Love Sport Radio.

"It's been a fantastic season and I don't think many Liverpool supporters will complain if we don't win anything because it's been such a spectacular season.

"It's something to build on and look forward to the future because I don't think this is the end for Liverpool, it's not a one-off.

"This will be sustained for the years to come. It's not if we win the league again, it's when."

Referring to their imminent European clash with a Lionel Messi-inspired Blaugrana side, with key men Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah ruled out, Gillespie admitted that it would be a tough night for all involved.

"You would have to be the utmost optimist to get anything out of the game but in reality it's going to be very difficult because you don't have your main striker and your best player,” he added.

"It's going to be almost impossible but stranger things have happened in football. You can only hope and pray for them.

"Our tie with Man City a few years ago we were 3-0 up going to the Etihad and you were thinking 'maybe City have still got a wee chance because you never know what can happen'.

"But Barcelona have got so much experience that even if Liverpool do get an early goal, I can't see them panicking or really being influenced by the crowd maybe another team might have been.

"They are special nights at Anfield but it's going to have to be a hell of a special night to get Liverpool through to the final."