| 7.9°C Dublin

Klopp can see what he needs to see himself

Close

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp knows his players are still motivated

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp knows his players are still motivated

AFP/Getty Images

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp knows his players are still motivated

Jurgen Klopp has revealed he has absolute faith in his players to give everything in their quest to transform a 30-year wait into back-to-back titles.

Alex Ferguson, he has discovered, was always a bit more cautious in his approach to the season after each of his 13 Premier League successes.

In fact, he questioned every one of his players.

At the start of every new campaign, he would look into the eyes of every one of them to see whether they still had the desire to go for more.

The legendary Manchester United manager's approach worked, of course, in spectacular fashion.

Marvels

His reading of the situation, more often than not, was on the button. If he sensed that any of his stars didn't fancy it, they were out on their ears.

Klopp marvels at how the Scotsman went about things, saying: "Is that what he always did?

"How many league titles did he win? Thirteen? And he always came back into pre-season, and always looked for hunger? I wish I had Alex Ferguson's eyes, obviously!"

Yet, Klopp takes his team to Villa Park today happy that he does not have to take the same precautions.

For he stresses that he does not need X-ray vision - or the help of his famous large spectacles - to know what he is seeing.

What he is seeing is his side maintaining the vision they created for themselves in the weeks after the club's top-flight torture came to an end.

They are, he insists, having the time of their lives.

The German explains: "We agreed a while ago, longer ago than pre-season, that we would try to make this the best time of our lives, as long as we are together. And that is what we are still doing. So I am not in doubt about the desire and hunger of my boys.

"If we don't succeed, it will not be because we don't want it with all we have. The other teams, they can be better. In football and in life, it's like this.

"But we can meet this new challenge. It's not because of hunger or desire, or greed, or whatever. No, no, it is because we are still in the right mood."

Nobody is more in the mood than Virgil van Dijk - and Klopp is glad of that.

The Liverpool boss might have been expected to give the classiest centre-back in world football a break by taking him out of action for League Cup games.

Instead, he was there marshalling his rearguard as usual in last week's spot-kick loss to Arsenal.

He was also there the previous week, in command of a young side that clobbered Lincoln City 7-2.

The Dutchman is, to Klopp, a confirmation of his belief that he doesn't need the second sight of an Alex Ferguson to know how committed everyone is.

He stresses: "Virgil had no problem. Most of the boys want to play in every game. Of course, you don't want to be playing someone like him more than you need, but that goes for all my players.

"We don't make the fixtures, so when we have to fulfil them I have to make certain decisions for certain situations. The best thing is I know I can count on everyone."

  • Aston Villa v Liverpool; Premier League today 7.15pm, live Sky Spt