Sunday 25 February 2018

Klopp: Players unfazed by my exit

Jurgen Klopp expects his players to be fully focused on Saturday's clash with Paderborn
Jurgen Klopp expects his players to be fully focused on Saturday's clash with Paderborn

Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp does not expect any particular reaction from his players or the fans to his announcement that he will be leaving the club in the summer.

Klopp revealed on Wednesday that he will not be fulfilling the remainder of his contract, which was due to expire in 2018.

Instead, he will be terminating his agreement with the Westphalians in the summer to seek a new challenge, but he has vowed to win as many games as he can before bringing his seven-year reign to an end.

And he expects the players to do the same, insisting they will be fully focused for Saturday's Bundesliga clash with Paderborn.

"We can draw strength from this story together," Klopp said at Thursday's press conference. "We've always been able to find reasons to do something quite special."

Klopp relayed the reactions of the players to his decision to the assembled press, saying: "Nobody applauded me - so I guess that's a good thing. You need a moment to deal with such information, which is why I didn't really assess much of what happened in training (on Wednesday), but that's over now.

"I want to see the players smiling, even if then somebody might write that the players are glad Klopp's leaving."

The fans will have had a few days to digest the news too, by the time Dortmund run out at the Westfalenstadion on Saturday, and Klopp expects the atmosphere to be no different to usual.

"If somebody feels they need to give me or my coaching team three cheers, then they would be wrong," he added.

" I don't expect it and I don't need it. The important thing is that they get behind the team for 90 minutes."

Earlier on Thursday, A rsenal manager Arsene Wenger refused to add to the speculation over whether Klopp's next assignment will be in the Barclays Premier League.

Klopp insisted on Wednesday that he had had no contact with any clubs, but stressed he did not plan to take an extended time-out from the game.

The German has been installed as favourite to replace the under-fire Manuel Pellegrini at Manchester City, but Wenger was keen not to add fuel to the fire when quizzed on the matter.

"I'm not an agency to place managers and I like every manager and respect everybody, but I find that circus a bit ridiculous," the Frenchman said.

On whether Klopp would suit Arsenal, Wenger said: " I already answered this question."

Wenger does not believe Dortmund players will necessarily look to follow the charismatic 47-year-old out of the Westfalenstadion.

"It's down to every club to make the right decision and to respect Dortmund," he said. "Dortmund is a massive club and will survive, and has the ability to keep their best players.

"They have a big history linked with great results and great achievements, so I don't think that will stop for Dortmund."

Klopp has enjoyed a hugely successful spell in charge of Dortmund since taking over in 2008, leading the club to two Bundesliga titles, DFB-Pokal success and the Champions League final.

This season has been more of a struggle, with the club battling it out at the bottom end of the league for much of the campaign and currently sitting 10th.

Asked about any advice he would give to foreign managers heading to the Premier League, Wenger replied: "Try to get your ideas through and adapt as well to the local culture, and respect it."

Press Association

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