Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders has discussed the relationship he has with Jurgen Klopp and has stressed the importance of the ‘team behind the team’ at the Anfield club.
The Dutchman is often deployed on media duties in the League Cup and he spoke to the press ahead of Sunday’s Carabao Cup final clash with Chelsea at Wembley.
“First of all, Jurgen is so much more than a colleague to me,” Lijnders said.
“I’m really grateful and really happy the way we work together. It’s a commitment based on respect and a commitment based on trust.
“With this trust comes a lot of freedom, with this trust comes a lot of obeying.
“I think it’s not just me and him of course, it’s so much more backroom staff who are constantly in our ears to make decisions and put us in the right path.
“If you see our team’s togetherness, this comes from something. It starts with a group of people who show leadership… it’s probably the most powerful tool.
“We want our team to be how we are, that’s why it’s so important that they see and they feel the manager, the assistant manager, the other assistant manager.
“All of us are so close, there is a team behind the team and I believe that a manager is [only] as good as the team behind the team.”
Although Klopp won’t be leaving the club anytime soon, there have been rumours that suggest when the time does come for the former Borussia Dortmund boss to move on, Lijnders will be in with a real shout for the Anfield hot seat.
He’s learning from the best in Klopp and has already earned experience during his time on Merseyside.
The 39-year-old does have experience as a manager after originally leaving Liverpool for NEC Nijmegen in January 2018.
The Reds acted quickly to bring Lijnders back to Merseyside prior to the 2019/20 Premier League after his time at the Dutch club ended.
You can watch Jurgen’s No. 2 discussing their relationship below via our Twitter page.
🗣️"First of all, Jurgen is so much more than a coach to me."
— Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) February 25, 2022