REUTERS – Midfielder Adam Lallana has credited manager Juergen Klopp’s charisma for Liverpool’s rise up to sixth place in the Premier League table and an improvement in his own performances.
The Merseyside club have lost just one game in 10 in all competitions since the German took over from Brendan Rodgers in October and Lallana says Klopp’s passion was evident before his first game in charge against Tottenham Hotspur on Oct. 17.
“I remember the team meeting before we set off for the ground on that day,” Lallana told the Daily Telegraph.
“We listened to the manager and I was so pumped by what he’d said — the vibe, the emotion and the feeling — I walked out wanting the game to start there and then, in that second.
“It was just the passion of his words that got to us.
“He really is brilliant to listen to. He seems to have an off-the-cuff way about him… He just goes with the flow and it’s all genuine.
“There is no ego but an abundance of charisma and an aura.”
Lallana backed Klopp to keep getting the best out of the team, saying the German’s insistence on hard work reminded him of his playing days at Southampton — when he was arguably in the best form of his career — under current Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino.
“He (Klopp) is getting out of me what Mauricio asked of me at Southampton,” Lallana said.
“The manager sets his team out the way Pochettino does — that is where I can see a similarity.
“The demand is similar — put in the graft. He understands you will make mistakes and not play so well in a game but if you leave blood and sweat on the pitch for him — that is what he likes most.”
Klopp, however, is not getting carried away by his encouraging start at Anfield, pointing to Liverpool’s home defeat by Crystal Palace on Nov. 8, their only loss under him, as a reason for caution.
“Sometimes I would really like to change my personality but I can’t forget this loss against Crystal Palace. If we had won this, I would say it (the club’s progress) was okay,” he told reporters at his pre-match news conference ahead of Wednesday’s League Cup quarter-final against Southampton.
(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)