EPL 2016/17: Jurgen Klopp urges his players to keep their foot on the ground
Klopp warns players about axe if the level of play drops and complacency sets in.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has warned his players, publicly stating that any player who drops off the pace will be axed from the XI immediately. Klopp speaking in the post-match press conference after the goalless draw at the St Mary’s claimed that the Liverpool team need to keep pressing the pedal firmly as they fight for their first English Premier League trophy.
The Reds’ 0-0 draw with Southampton at the weekend saw Chelsea leapfrog Liverpool to the top of the league standings as City, Arsenal and Spurs breathe tightly down their necks. Desperate to control the vibe at Anfield and not let complacency creep into the fold, Klopp believes the young squad have a lot to learn.
The former Dortmund manager believes the club and players just need to stay focused and keep working hard, insisting success will follow, provided the players don't drop the ball like they did when Liverpool finished runners-up to Manchester City in the league a couple of years ago.
When quizzed about whether he could implement any tactics he used when he guided to Dortmund to the trophy in Germany with Liverpool here in the Premier League, Klopp said, “Yes, there is something I can tell the players from the time we won with Dortmund. Not think too much about it. That will help.
“If somebody is a character and wants to celebrate [being in] position one in November then he will not play in December anymore because I see it pretty quick.
“It is better to be in the number one spot one time than never in your life, but it is not important at this moment. If you then celebrate this and don’t be professional anymore, then you have a problem.”
Klopp is in charge of a squad that's relatively young and inexperienced when it comes to the fierce, intense battle of a title race. Only Milner, Manninger and Sturridge have been part of league-title-winning teams before and the manager believes the secret is to stay grounded.
“These things usually don’t happen. The players are here in this situation because their character is really good - it is a long way to get here,” he explained.
“It is not like they are surprised about success whether it is individual or as a team. They had successes of being the best player at Southampton, Schalke, Sunderland or other teams. This is success in itself.”
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