Jurgen Klopp admits he is disappointed that the high expectations surrounding the Premier League title offer in Liverpool have overshadowed the intense start of the season.
Klopp's third place won eight of the 11 games in an unbeaten opening in the championship campaign.
However, despite being among the top titles, Liverpool has been criticized late after some unstable appearances both inside and the Champions League.
A mid-week loss to Belgrade's red star was particularly sluggish, but Reds Klopp's head believes the challengers have trouble challenging his team.
Knowing that the Manchester City champions and the impressive Chelsea – both unbeaten in the league – have earned more praise from Liverpool, Klopp began a passionate defense of his side on Friday, arguing he only won the title for the first time since 1990 is enough to keep the critics silent.
"The season that is so clear, which is very good for the Premier League, was really successful," Klopp told reporters.
"But he does not really feel that way because there are two reasons over last year: free football in a few games and Man City and perhaps Chelsea and some others also play a great season.
"It feels a bit like this season can only be successful if we become champions.
"Our competitors are last year's champions (Manchester City), champions two years ago (Chelsea), a more refreshed Arsenal and a more experienced Tottenham and Manchester United.
"This is a very difficult job, but we have no problem with it, we go for everything, we have to build our situation, we have to improve, to get more confidence from the season."
Klopp admitted that the defeat of the Champions League in Belgrade's red star "was a massive blow that was not expected".
"Now we have to react for us in the right way, not just on Sunday, but in general." Fulham headed to Anfield on Sunday as he slipped to the bottom of the table after a miserable run of five consecutive defeats.
However, Klopp caused Liverpool's suggestions to pull the West Londoners.
"I would really be an idiot – few people think I'm but not so much – if I talk about any goal difference before this game," said Klopp.
"This is a really strange situation for Fulham, I can really imagine how they feel. Football is good, they have caused many problems in Manchester.
"You will never win a target in a team like Fulham, if you go to win the wrong game and think about score, score, scoring. This game is a great challenge for all of us.
"If someone goes there and expects an easy game then please stay home, it will not be, it's hard to do it." Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita are both in turn to return to action after their injuries.