Jurgen Klopp has revealed he’s rarely resorted to explosive anger in the dressing room during his side’s recent dismal run that threatens their season.
Instead the Liverpool manager says that experience has taught him to stay calm after defeat, and concentrate on trying to repair the fragile confidence of his struggling players, by reminding them of just how good they are.
Klopp is well known for his antics on the touchline, often screaming at his players as he tries to get his instructions across during the heat of the game.
But in an illuminating session with a group of young Liverpool fans who asked him a probing series of questions, he explained that he has forced himself to take time out when emotions run high after setbacks.
“Possibly I get mad in the dressing room… possibly. But usually if we lost the game, I try… well then it makes real sense to go home and sleep a night before you then properly talk about it,” he revealed to the primary school kids.
“As you get older you realise in a lot of situations in your life that it makes real sense when you feel anger you just step aside or go home and sleep a night and think a little bit.
“And then you talk about it and then the emotions are out and you can really speak about the things that really matter.”
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Klopp has had plenty to get angry about in recent months, as Liverpool have slipped well out of the title race, to face even a struggle to make the top four.
But they still have a chance to save their season in the Champions League, where they face Real Madrid in a tasty quarter final tie.
And when asked how he is helping his players rebuild their shattered confidence, he replied: “What I try to do in these moments is to remind the boys of their real quality, and believe in it.
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“So be confident, stay confident, because with the quality they have, there is no reason not to be confident. Confidence is based on positivity – if you experience things yourself that is where you get confidence.
“You know yourself, if you score a goal in a game you just think next time ‘if I’m in a similar situation then I will score again’. That is what confidence is. But if you did not score the last time, then it may be a little bit different. That is where you have to believe in your quality.”
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Klopp was speaking to the young supporters in a session arranged for the club’s website, and he was asked a wide-ranging series of questions, from what his favourite English food is – Scouse – to who would go in goal if he had no keepers.
The answer was James Milner, and he also revealed that Andy Robertson is the joker in the squad, while he was definitive about his favourite single football moment outside winning trophies.
Klopp said: “Without winning something, just for a game the best moment is the Barcelona home game. ‘Corner taken quickly’, eh! That was for sure one of the best moments ever.”
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