Jurgen Klopp recalls fear of getting sacked during early days as Liverpool manager

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp feared getting sacked by the Premier League club early in his tenure if he was not afforded the time to reshape the squad, he said on Wednesday.

Reuters April 23, 2020 08:46:22 IST
Jurgen Klopp recalls fear of getting sacked during early days as Liverpool manager

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp feared getting sacked by the Premier League club early in his tenure if he was not afforded the time to reshape the squad, he said on Wednesday.

Jurgen Klopp recalls fear of getting sacked during early days as Liverpool manager

File image of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. AP

The early years were spent building the team into title contenders and Klopp said he knew he had to convince Liverpool’s owners — Fenway Sports Group — that he needed time to change their playing style.

“It was clear we cannot fix it overnight. Everyone wanted that but we couldn’t so I had to ask for time, I knew,” Klopp said on Sky Sports’ Football Show.

“Before that in my career I never got the sack so I had no experience with that, but I knew then it was a different level, and if I can’t deliver here quick enough, then I will get the sack.

“We got that time and the nice thing is that after six, seven, eight games, they were really positive about the situation, they realised we were on the right path. From that moment they didn’t question it one second.”

Klopp, who took over from Brendan Rodgers in 2015, led the club to three finals in three years — Europa League and League Cup in 2016 and Champions League in 2018 — but ended up on the losing side each time.

The owners retained their faith in the German, however, and Liverpool won their sixth European crown in 2019.

“They were full of faith and trust, and they said the path we will stay on, and everything will be fine. That’s what we did then,” Klopp added.

“When we lost finals against Sevilla or (Manchester) City or Real Madrid, I think pundits say ‘if he doesn’t win the next one then they might change’. But internally it was never somebody thinking like this.”

After finishing as league runners-up last season by a single point, Liverpool needed six more points to win their first league title in the Premier League era when this season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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