Jurgen Klopp's men sat in the relegation zone at the halfway stage of the Bundesliga campaign, but a top-six finish is now a distinct possibility.
Up next is Saturday's visit of champions and league leaders Bayern Munich, who will be eager to bounce back from a the 2-0 loss they suffered to Borussia Monchengladbach before the international break.
"We have to perform like against Schalke [a 3-0 win in late February]," he told Perform ahead of the match at Signal Iduna Park. "That's the referral game.
"We need to win if we want to look ahead towards the Europa League. We have to win although it won't be easy.
"It will be a great game to watch. I always felt a certain pleasure to play this kind of games. Even if we are much behind this will be a very good game, I am sure.
"We are too behind [to challenge for the league], but I am sure we can keep up with them.
"Every time we challenge Bayern, they struggle to beat us."
Bayern won November's meeting between the two sides 2-1 thanks to late goals from Robert Lewandowski and Arjen Robben.
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