Liverpool squad all dream of winning trophies, says assistant boss Pep Lijnders

Even a Carabao Cup quarter-final at home to Leicester is something which has to be taken seriously.

Carl Markham
Tuesday 21 December 2021 22:30
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Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders insists the determination to win trophies is so high even 35-year-old James Milner still dreams of silverware.

The veteran midfielder has won league titles with Manchester City and Liverpool, in addition to the Champions League the FA Cup, League Cup, European Super Cup and Club World Cup but the desire still burns bright.

Even a Carabao Cup quarter-final at home to Leicester – at an inopportune moment in the calendar – is something which has to be taken seriously.

“You have to watch one of our training sessions, it will take the greed (for trophies) question away, because they train every time as if it is a final,” said Lijnders.

“If we can make even a simple rondo very competitive, we do.

“We have a squad full of personalities, a squad full of boys who still dream, say even James Milner is 35 and he still dreams of winning prizes.

“There is an opportunity to reach a semi-final and we know this and, of course, if you want to be a proper Liverpool legend, you need to win cups as well.

“But we don’t look further than this game.”

Lijnders, as he has done for the last couple of seasons in this competition, was standing in for manager Jurgen Klopp at the pre-match press conference.

Apart from a six-month spell with NEC in his homeland as he tried to get the club promoted to the top tier, the Dutchman has been on the coaching staff at Liverpool since 2014.

Lijnders (right) has been a key component of Jurgen Klopp’s (left) backroom staff but he plans to become a manager again in the future (Peter Byrne/PA)

He does, however, have longer-term plans to return to management – although he refused to be drawn on whether he wants to succeed Klopp.

“That’s the plan – and Jurgen knows this. This is not the time to speak about these things, because I have a contract to 2024,” he added.

“When the time comes I will sit down with my management and I will see the options I have, but we are in the middle of this project this beautiful project and after that, we will decide.”

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