Jurgen Klopp has described his new contract with Liverpool as being “like a penalty”, and now he has to convert.The Liverpool manager has proven a hugely popular appointment following the sacking of Brendan Rodgers last season, even if he was unable to salvage a European spot from a poor start to the season.
Klopp’s side lost two finals last season, first a League Cup final and then a Europa League final, but the club was happy enough with the progress made under the former Borussia Dortmund coach they offered him a new six-year deal.
“I said to LFCTV that signing the new contract is a little bit like having a penalty – now we have to finish it. You cannot celebrate the penalty, you have to score the goal. That’s what we have to do now,” Klopp said after overseeing his side’s first game of the pre-season – a 1-0 win over Tranmere Rovers on Friday.
“We really need to be successful, that’s clear; we need to develop the club, we need to develop a lot of things.”
And Klopp is thinking a lot bigger than just the first team.
“We’re already building a new stand, we’re thinking about bringing the academy and Melwood together, things like this. We think about everything at the club and this is much longer-term than my contract,” he said.
“So it’s really important that we do the right things so this wonderful club can be successful. We all feel very responsible for the club and for the people around. Everybody can be sure that we’ll try our best and we’ll see what it brings.”
With his future secured, Klopp will be hoping to improve Liverpool’s fortunes as he continues to build the side in his vision, having already brought in former Southampton star Sadio Mane, who impressed on debut.
“I was quite satisfied. He had an exciting week or 10 days,” Klopp said.
“He trained a lot in his break, did what he had to do and now he is here. He is a very, very nice guy and a good football player.
“Everybody could see in the first half, with really tired legs he really played a good game. He could have scored, could have done one or the other thing a little bit better, but he was fine.”