Pep Lijnders does not see Liverpool’s “special ride” ending any time soon thanks to the confidence Jurgen Klopp’s assistant has in the squad’s mentality and quality.
The Reds played every match possible in a 2021-22 season that was as mammoth as it was memorable, with Carabao Cup and FA Cup glory bringing hope of a quadruple that just evaded them.
Manchester City pipped Liverpool to the Premier League crown on the final day before Real Madrid beat them 1-0 in the Champions League final at the Stade de France.
Lijnders has given the inside story of that rollercoaster season in his new book ‘Intensity’ and underlined his confidence on the eve of the 2022-23 campaign that this exciting period will continue at Anfield.
“I hope that when fans read the book they will get a little bit more proud,” he told the PA news agency.
“That they get a little bit more insight, that they see the game in a little different way when they’re sitting in the stands, that they cheer a little bit harder because they know how important they are to us.
“That they never underestimate their importance and that they cherish this part of Liverpool Football Club, this era, because we’re on a special ride together and we have to cherish that.
“We’re really happy with the business we did and we’re really happy with the players we have.
“If one thing Liverpool Football Club showed in the past and now is that our players will become better, so our young players will become better, our older players will become better and that together they can become unbeatable.
“As long as they play with that mindset and with this fight and this hunger to fight for each other, the future looks really bright.”
This summer much-loved Sadio Mane ended his successful six-year stint at Anfield to join Bayern Munich, while Divock Origi, Takumi Minamino and Neco Williams also departed.
Teenagers Fabio Carvalho and Calvin Ramsay have arrived at Liverpool, as has frontman Darwin Nunez from Benfica in their marquee summer move.
The deal could reach a club-record £85million and the Uruguay striker has made a promising early impression, including scoring in Saturday’s 3-1 Community Shield win against Manchester City.
“Each player will influence the attacks in a different way,” Lijnders said. “Luis (Diaz) is not like Sadio, or Harvey (Elliott) is not like Mo (Salah), or Thiago is not like Millie [James Milner].
“That’s all fine because as long as we all play with the same direction and where we want to go.
“We play to create, we play to score, and I think Darwin is an asset in that so he is and will be a different weapon.”
Nunez will have a key role to play this season as Liverpool look to add more silverware during this medal-laden spell under Klopp, whose side open their Premier League campaign at promoted Fulham on Saturday.
“The good thing is that, if you read through the book, you will see how much time I come back to creating this winning mentality inside the club – where the team and staff only see the next game,” Lijnders said.
“In this case now it’s Fulham and we’re really preparing for Fulham as a final, maybe an even bigger final than as the Community Shield and this mentality makes us us, that we don’t look further ahead.
“Of course we can speak a lot about what’s happened in these games (last season) and where we can improve but that’s not important now.
“Now it’s important that we prepare as well as possible for Fulham and that we see that as a cup final.”
There are a lot of cup finals to come for Liverpool if they maintain that mentality under Klopp, who in April extended his contract until 2026 alongside assistants Peter Krawietz and Lijnders.
“To our relationship, what can I say? He’s my football mentor,” the latter said of Klopp. “He’s the one I learned so much from.
“He’s the one who gave me the chance to evolve and to become more and more important inside the set-up and I only can speak highly (of him), but a lot of people do.”
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