Dejan Lovren has revealed how a healthy dose of respect and honest opinions from Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is getting the best out of the club's first-team stars.
The centre back sat down with the Reds' official site to outline just how good Klopp is at man-managing his squad, and admitted that the German boss was not afraid to be frank with his players if he needed to say something of importance to any of them.
Klopp is often seen bear hugging and high-fiving Liverpool's players after winning football matches, and Lovren stated it is the ex-Borussia Dortmund gaffer's personality that has helped win over players and fans alike during his 18-month spell at the club.
He said: “It’s not just before the game. It’s through the whole season – every session, before sessions, after sessions.
“If he needs to say something he will say it straight to you. I think that’s important for all of us, to understand and accept his advice and plans.
“Everyone is doing quite well. He has respect for us and we have even bigger respect for him. This is the key point – if you want to work together well, you will have success.”
Liverpool find themselves two points ahead of fourth-placed Manchester City heading into the final five fixtures of the 2016/17 Premier League campaign, and know that they will be hard pushed by the Citizens in the battle for the last automatic Champions League qualification spot before the season's end.
Lovren stated that Liverpool's first-team squad know full well the task ahead of them, and said the players needed to believe if they harboured hopes of missing out on having to go through a two-legged qualifier to reach the continental tournament's group stage.
He continued: “Every point is important – everyone knows that. We are proving that we are a really good team, that we can take points from everyone. It’s just a question of self-belief, we need to just believe in ourselves and not think about missing [players]. We need to move a gear up.”
Sadio Mane, Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana are just three of those key players, that Lovren mentioned, are missing through injury, but the Croatia international added the victories over Stoke and West Brom in recent weeks meant the Reds had the strength in depth to step up and help the club get over the finish line in the last few weeks of the campaign.
He said: “We are missing many players, but they showed again in the second half against Stoke that they can change the game whenever they want.
“Sometimes you need that. Top teams like us sometimes depend on our big players. [But] it’s not just on them – the responsibility is for everyone to do our job. We have a big thing to [achieve]: the Champions League.
"Everyone wants that. If you want to be a top team, you need to continue to play well in every game.”