Pep Lijnders reveals what Jürgen Klopp 'always' tells him as honest Liverpool admission made

Pep Lijnders and Jürgen Klopp prior to the Premier League match between Brentford FC and Liverpool FC at Gtech Community Stadium on February 17, 2024 in Brentford, England.
Pep Lijnders and Jürgen Klopp -Credit:Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp will inevitably draw the bulk of the attention after the Reds have played Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday afternoon. He will then no longer be the club’s manager after almost nine years at the helm.

But Klopp’s exit is far from the only one at Liverpool this summer. Assistant managers Pep Lijnders and Peter Krawietz will depart, as will Vitor Matos (elite development coach) and John Achterberg and Jack Robinson (both goalkeeper coaches).

Lijnders has been appointed as the new head coach of Red Bull Salzburg and he will have Matos as his assistant. The club has a strong connection with Liverpool, as the Reds signed Takumi Minamino from it while the likes of Naby Keïta, Sadio Mané and Dominik Szoboszlai have represented both teams.

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For Lijnders, this weekend will not be the first time he has left Liverpool. He was at the club before Klopp, leaving in 2018 to take charge of NEC Nijmegen in his homeland of the Netherlands.

After that didn’t work out, he returned to the Reds. Lijnders has been speaking to Algemeen Dagblad and admitted he wouldn’t have come back if the offer had been different.

"At Liverpool, they asked me back after the NEC, but I would never have done it if I had only been asked back as 'number two' in the staff," he said. "Over the past six years, I have been given a lot of responsibility. Jürgen has let me do press conferences, match talks. Everything he does himself. 'We do this job together,' he always says. And that's how it really is. I know I am well prepared (for Salzburg)," Lijnders added.

He also admitted that he has really enjoyed the last few weeks even though the Reds fell away from chasing trophies. "Do you know what's crazy? In the last two weeks, I have felt freedom for the first time. The pressure is gone. There is nothing left to gain or improve," Lijnders admitted.

"We finished third in the competition this season and will no longer play the final. You live purely 'in the moment'. At home against Spurs I already noticed what that does," Lijnders continued. "You take it all in even better, the singing of the fans, a swirling Anfield. Honestly? I'm actually disappointed that I didn't enjoy it more all this time." says: It's a shame that Lijnders didn't enjoy the best moments more during his Liverpool career but that is the nature of coaching at the elite level. Would the Reds have been as successful if he had not returned to the club? Klopp certainly values his input, so perhaps not. Reds fans will wish Lijnders well and follow his time in Austria with interest.