Friday 20 October 2017

Jurgen Klopp: Steven Gerrard aims to be manager so Liverpool academy job perfect

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, pictured, is keen to help Steven Gerrard as he starts life as a coach
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, pictured, is keen to help Steven Gerrard as he starts life as a coach

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is determined to help Steven Gerrard become the best manager he can be.

The former Reds captain is to rejoin the club in February as an academy coach across all age groups, and Klopp will give him every assistance as the 36-year-old takes his first steps on the coaching ladder.

"We had a very good very long talk together," Klopp said, speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Wednesday's EFL Cup semi-final second leg against Southampton.

"Everyone in this room knows better than I do he is a wonderful guy and it was important to know what Steven wants and he said he wants to be a manager in the future. That's cool.

"From my side I said everything I can do to help him on his way to be the best manager he can be, I am ready for this and I'd like to do it.

"Now he is at the academy it is good for us and for him it is perfect.

"Being a manager is a job you have to learn and when a person like Steven Gerrard and the player he was is ready to make the steps, that is wonderful news for football.

"Combining his playing experience with all the things he will learn from now on will be a bright future. It is brilliant."

Gerrard's input will solely be with the players of the club's future but the current crop could do with some inspiration after a less-than-impressive start to 2017.

Since beating Manchester City on New Year's Eve, Klopp's side have won just once - an FA Cup replay at Sky Bet League Two Plymouth - in six matches in all competitions.

They now face a pivotal week in their season with an EFL Cup semi-final second leg at home to Southampton, who lead 1-0, the FA Cup fourth-round visit of Sky Bet Championship club Wolves before Premier League leaders Chelsea arrive a week on Tuesday.

The visit of Antonio Conte's men will be the culmination of 10 matches in 32 days but Klopp denies his squad, which has been depleted by injuries to Philippe Coutinho and Joel Matip and Sadio Mane's absence at the African Nations Cup during that period, are suffering physical and mental fatigue.

"Intense is intense. There are a lot of things but of course it's intense for every team," he added.

"We don't sit back and look for excuses. What we need is to fight, that's how it is.

"We have a lot of opportunities. We have an unbelievably big number of games.

"We are responsible for our situation, that's what we feel. If somebody can change it, then we can do it.

"If we win from now on in each game everybody sits here and smiles, even if we cannot become champions because Chelsea win enough to do it. That's how it is.

"Life is no guarantee, only a big opportunity. The football season is exactly the same - you don't have guarantees. Everybody wants it.

"But we have the opportunity do our best every day and my job is to tell the boys this and make sure they know about it.

"You can be sure I do this."

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