Jurgen Klopp has revealed that he only wants players under him who are ready to fight even if they are having a bad day. The 48-year-old made a reputation for himself as a master motivator during his time in Borussia Dortmund and at Mainz, something which he has tried to imbibe during his brief time at Liverpool.
The German has not been able to galvanise the team as much as he would have hoped, at least in the league, but progression into the semi-final of the Europa League means his hard work has not gone completely to waste. The Reds beat his former club Dortmund 5-4 over two legs, after putting together one of the greatest comebacks ever in Anfield history.
The Reds drew 1-1 with Dortmund in the first leg and were trailing the second by 3-1 in the second leg before goals by Philippe Coutinho, Mamadou Sakho and Dejan Lovren saw them score three goals in the final quarter and come out victorious against all odds. The win has been likened to their performance against AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League final when they came back from being three goals down in the first half to eventually win the contest.
"I was a fighting machine with a will of iron," Klopp told The Red Bulletin, "If you are full of motivation as a player, if you are full of concentration... I am open arms. If you are not, of course [I am hard], but only because to work with players who don't understand the professional part of this life is a waste of time.
"Anyone can have a good day. But you have to be able to perform on a bad day. That's what you live for as a sportsman. You have to put up a fight."
Liverpool are all but out of the reckoning for a top four place in the league, currently trailing Manchester City by nine points, but they can still make it to Europe's biggest club stage by winning the Europa, for which they have to get past Villareal in the semi-finals.