Jürgen Klopp was interviewed for LFCTV during Liverpool’s trip to Germany and the boss spoke fitness, travel and the importance of his backroom staff.
Jürgen Klopp has been loving life with Liverpool over in his home country as the Reds prepare for their participation in the Audi Cup alongside European giants Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich and Napoli.
The German got out on his bike with LFCTV over the weekend and opened up to Claire Rourke to discuss fitness, his backroom staff and why he chose Germany for the Reds’ final stage of pre-season preparations.
The boss started by revealing his love for Bavaria – where the Reds are currently staying – and why it is the perfect environment for their current training camp.
“Bavaria is, for me, the nicest region in Germany, I love it, I love the mountains,” he said.
“Where I am coming from in the Black Forest is pretty similar. The mountains aren’t as high and the lakes aren’t as big but it’s like a little Bavaria if you want! I loved it when I lived there as a kid and now we are here, a fantastic place! First time by the way – I couldn’t afford it (before)!”
The Liverpool squad have been pictured out and about, enjoying their time in the picturesque city but two things that have caught the eye of a lot of supporters are seeing the squad plunge themselves into a lake post-training and opting to travel to and from sessions by bicycle.
Explaining both, Klopp said: “Both are not really things for training, okay, jumping in the lake is instead of going in the ice box. I think it’s much nicer, it’s not that cold but cold enough. Going to training by bike is to change circumstances. I like it, I have fun when I do it. Doing it here is like being a kid again; be careful, wear a helmet… it’s cool, I think the players like it!”
However, the German while participating heavily in the bike riding, admitted he hasn’t jumped in the lake – yet!
“Of course not! They (the players) do a lot of things that I don’t prefer to do! I’m like an old Mercedes Benz, I have so many kilometres on me!”
Moving onto the training side of the camp, Klopp revealed that he’s not holding back on the intensity.
“If you ask the players ‘would you like to train in the morning?’ they would say oooh no and it’s not what the players wish but that’s the thing, it’s what we need to do. The season is long and from August to the middle of February we have three games a week – when are we going to train? That’s why we do it and so far I’m really happy. We need it.
“We have to be as fit as possible. In a perfect world, we are fitter than all the other teams. It’s also a little bit about luck. If you stay healthy, then you will improve your fitness with the games and all that stuff.”
“In September, October is when you’re at the highest level, then it gets a little more intense and November is still okay, December oh and January kicks you in the face.
“That’s why we need a bigger squad than last year, that’s why we need to have a little bit more luck than last year. If we can then rotate and change line-ups without losing quality then the world is still bright for us!
“The ideal world is to go into the season with eleven players who can play all the games so we know we don’t have a problem – they don’t get injured and stuff – but that’s not how it works. So we have a bigger group, they all have their role and they all have their job to do and if they don’t understand that job then it’s my job to explain how it works.”
Moving on from the players and onto his backroom staff, Klopp was absolutely glowing in his appraisal revealing: “I am nothing without them!”
“I think the biggest strength of strong people is to put people around you who are stronger in specific cases than yourself. Only if you are insecure you wouldn’t do that and think, ‘Oh my god, maybe somebody sees he is better at this than I am…’ and all that stuff.
“I have absolutely no problem with this and that makes them so important for me. I like them all but we are only together because they have so many qualities. Without them, I didn’t want to do the job – and I couldn’t do the job anymore. That’s how it is.
“When I started I was alone, but that was years ago and the world has changed – especially the football world, so it’s really important we have this quality around. I am absolutely happy about this.
“Zeljko (Buvac) is the brain, Pete (Krawietz) is the eye. Pep (Lijnders) has become unbelievably important in a short time because he writes everything down, he is also part of ‘the brain’ because he is our mind to remember the things what we did in previous sessions.
“He brings us the next coaching generation; we are not old but we are already that long in the business, so it’s normal that you have routines, you use them and they are good. We try to stay open all the time, but with Pep he is our connecting point to the present and the future, so that’s really, really important.
“It’s all good otherwise we could not be fourth last season and we would not be this good of a team. Always we can improve but as a basis to improve I am quite happy.”
Klopp finished by summing up the training camp and revealing how confident he feels that the Reds’ pre-season has put them in good stead for a busy campaign to come.
“What we did so far was what we wanted to do. When we came to Hong Kong I thought, this could be a waste of time on the training side because if you can’t train here we lose everything we did at Melwood so far. We trained and I loved it at the end.
“So, we are in a good moment. You saw the games we were okay or better – not perfect but that’s okay. If we played perfect football at this moment in the season I’d be surprised… but we will be there I am sure.”
You can watch Claire’s full interview with the Reds’ boss on LFCTV here!