HomeKlopp doesn't want Liverpool fans to 'celebrate old man on the sidelines'

Klopp doesn’t want Liverpool fans to ‘celebrate old man on the sidelines’

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Jurgen Klopp does not want Liverpool’s fans to spend the next few months celebrating “the old man on the sidelines”, expressing hope that his impending departure will not be a distraction.

On Friday, Klopp surprisingly announced he will leave Liverpool at the end of the season, having brought seven trophies to the club in just over eight years at the helm.

The German received a rousing reception ahead of Liverpool’s first game after the news of his departure was announced, before the Reds advanced to the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 5-2 win over Norwich City on Sunday.

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With Liverpool still in contention to win four trophies in what will be Klopp’s final season in charge, he does not want his exit to be the focus for supporters.

“I have to make sure I don’t get on that side of it,” Klopp told BBC Match of the Day when asked about the reception he received.

“I said the fans don’t have to because I know our relationship already. In games, we need to be warriors and not celebrate the old man on the sidelines.

“This was the first match after the news. Now we can get used to it.”

Club captain Virgil van Dijk came off the bench to net in Liverpool’s win on Sunday, joining Curtis Jones, Darwin Nunez, Diogo Jota and Ryan Gravenberch on the scoresheet.

Van Dijk says the Reds’ players are focused purely on ensuring Klopp’s glittering reign ends on a high note, saying: “Today was always going to be a bit different.

“It was the first time that the manager was back in the stadium [after the news], seeing all of the fans.

“The manager is here until the summer. We have to deal with the noise. It’s my job as captain to make sure it doesn’t reach our players.

“We have been through so much together and I’m grateful for everything he has done for me, for my family and my career. Why not end on a high?”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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