Gary McAllister is preparing to make his first motivational speech as a Liverpool coach, as the Reds prepare to take on Stoke City for the opening game of our new Premier League season.
The popular ex-Red, who rejoined the club this summer as our new first-team coach, has been speaking to reporters ahead of the game and has told the players that he wants them to focus on who they’re playing for.
“First impressions are big, certainly for players showing the Liverpool fans,” he told our official website.
“If you show you’re willing and committed to the team and work yourself into the ground, that covers a lot of things that might go wrong in the game as soon as they see you’re committed. That’s what I’ll be telling the new players here – show passion for the shirt.”
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McAllister, who joined Liverpool as a player back in 2000 at the age of 35, admits he was taken aback by the whole concept of playing for a club of our size. However, he quickly settled and became a firm fan favourite, winning five trophies – including the treble of 2001 – during his short time with us.
“I spent my whole life playing against Liverpool and I thought I knew everything about this club, how big it was, the style of play and what’s required. But it’s not actually until you arrive at the club that you realise how big it is. Everything’s here, in place, to win things.”
“You can feel it,” he continued. “If you don’t get butterflies, there’s something up, because this is what all the training has been about – for this first game.
The 50-year-old, who since his playing days has also had coaching spells with Coventry City, Leeds United and Aston Villa, believes it’s important for us not to dwell on last season’s result against Stoke, when we lost 6-1, but insists that the players who did play in that game will benefit from the extra motivation.
“That game has gone,” he insisted. “I look at the squad and the players and there has been big change, so that game has gone. We’ve looked at Stoke very closely in their pre-season games.
“The guys that were present at the Britannia last season want to put one over on Stoke. I don’t think motivation will be a problem come Sunday. We’ve got a freshness to the squad and the team which means we go there, like all Liverpool teams, to win.”