Jurgen Klopp promises not to hold Pep Lijnders back after new Liverpool extension

Lijnders has managerial ambitions of his own but has agreed to remain at Liverpool as Klopp’s assistant until 2026

Richard Jolly
Friday 29 April 2022 22:30
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<p>Pep Lijnders managed Liverpool in Jurgen Klopp’s absence earlier this season </p>

Pep Lijnders managed Liverpool in Jurgen Klopp’s absence earlier this season

Jurgen Klopp has vowed not to stand in Pep Lijnders’ way in his bid to become a manager but has told his assistant he has plenty of time to realise his ambitions and that, for now, he is better off at Liverpool.

Lijnders has made no secret of his ambition to manage but committed his future to Liverpool along with Klopp when they, and his other assistant Peter Krawietz, all signed four-year contract extensions on Thursday.

Klopp believes the 39-year-old Dutchman has all the attributes to succeed on his own but warned it could be tougher to take charge of a struggling side.

And the 54-year-old feels part of the reason for his own prowess is that he has built a fine backroom staff, consisting largely of younger coaches.

He said: “I know Pep will be an outstanding manager in the future. I really enjoy working together - and Pete Krawietz - we bought fully into this project. And that’s it. He is not even 40 yet so that is a long time after all this to be by yourself. At the moment we all enjoy the work here together.

“His own ambitions will never stop and I will never stop it. I am pretty experienced elder generation manager. That is crazy to say but it is the truth. My big strength is I bring in really good people and then let them flourish. It doesn’t always mean I tell them: ‘No, no, no we did it in the past like this.’ No, I listen [to] them, because they are much closer because they are doing their badges at the moment. It is really interesting what do they tell you now, and now what I can tell them what we did in the past.

“Life is progress and you keep up with all the developments around you and that is what we do. And they keep me on track and I keep them calm and in line and obviously I can help a little bit. We have now an agreement for another while and everybody is really happy for a while. And we don’t hold anyone back.

“What is better? Being first-team coach with massive influence in a world-class club or going out there being the main man in the wrong club and lose more often than not? So we are all smart enough to know not to take this situation for granted. The club has given us the opportunity to build a really good football team. Now we have it so let’s try to be as successful as possible.”

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