Liverpool news: Jurgen Klopp uses reverse psychology ahead of Burnley match
What's the story?
Given that he and Dyche had a huge fight earlier in the season, it was a question aimed at eliciting an impassioned response from Klopp.
But this time the German kept his calm and gave a measured response. It seems that he has learnt a lesson from his pre-match press conference before the Merseyside derby - where he had mocked Everton, a tactic that backfired on Liverpool.
In case you didn't know...
Speaking before the derby, Klopp had claimed: “For Everton, it is like a World Cup final.” The comment implied that for the Toffees this was the single most important match of the season as they couldn’t hope to achieve much else.
Or in other words, the claim of having played a role in stopping Liverpool from winning the title would be the sole newsworthy highlight of their season.
If this statement was part of any mind games Klopp was attempting, it backfired spectacularly.
The Blues were riled up. On match day, the atmosphere at the Goodison was raucous. The players battled for every ball, blocked every shot and ran their hearts out. They were extremely determined not to be outclassed by their rivals and to restore their honour.
Liverpool could only manage a point and relinquished the top spot to City. Klopp too wasn’t spared the ignominy, with an Evertonian ball boy sarcastically clapping in his face and asking if he enjoyed the ‘World Cup final’.
The heart of the matter
Yesterday at the press conference ahead of the Reds' game against Burnley, Klopp was asked to revisit his spat with Sean Dyche that happened a couple of months ago. Dyche had insinuated that Daniel Sturridge was a 'cheat', and this triggered a war of words that carried on for a few days after the match. But this time Klopp didn’t bite.
Instead, the German seemed to make use of some reverse psychology and was exceptionally generous with his praise for the Clarets and their manager, saying: “We have to be really good to beat that team because what Sean Dyche is doing there is just amazing.”
He surely would have been wary of making any condescending comments that could potentially give Burnley players an added motivation to play out of their skins with a point to prove.
He didn't stop with his compliments there, further adding: “Historically, against Burnley it was always difficult because they have a really high motivation level always, they are really fighting, they never give up. I don’t think they have a lot of high results when they lose, they always stay in the game. When you have to make the analysis and watch the last three or four games, you have to say ‘respect’.”
Liverpool take on Burnley on Sunday, aiming to be no farther than one point behind Manchester City, who play Watford a day earlier. Klopp himself will have fond recent memories linked to Watford, whom the Reds thrashed 5-0, and will be hoping for a similar level of performance against Sean Dyche’s men.