Football: Stylish play before titles for Klopp's Liverpool

New Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp (left) sharing a laugh with club chairman Tom Werner at a press conference last Friday. The German says that while he is not under pressure to deliver in his first season, he has been tasked with getting the Reds t
New Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp (left) sharing a laugh with club chairman Tom Werner at a press conference last Friday. The German says that while he is not under pressure to deliver in his first season, he has been tasked with getting the Reds to play football with a recognisable brand.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Juergen Klopp has admitted that he faces a huge challenge at Liverpool, but the English Premier League club's owners have not set him any targets this season, only asking him to develop a recognisable brand of football.

The 48-year-old, unveiled as Brendan Rodgers' successor on Friday, spoke to the German newspaper Bild over the weekend and explained that it will take time to make the team challenge for titles.

"There is no doubt, this is a huge challenge, for me and my coaching team," he said. "We knew that full well (when we accepted the job).

"Liverpool have not had any success for a long time and they've changed the manager all the time. And now they have appointed a German who is no miracle worker. Progress is not possible without a bit of time."

Klopp, who took his former club Borussia Dortmund to the Champions League final in 2013, said he is not under pressure to deliver in his first season.

"I spoke to the people in charge of the club at length. (There are no targets for this season), just simply to play football with a recognisable brand," he said.

"Whether there is money to spend in January or not doesn't interest me. We are only in October and I don't even know how many games we've got until the transfer window opens and therefore we will have a look at the players at our disposal first."

He has also insisted that he has no intention of poaching players from Dortmund for the Reds. "That is in no way my approach," he told Bild.

The two-time Bundesliga winner spent Saturday at the club's academy watching the youth teams play.

On Sunday, he finally got to work with some of his first-team squad, including Daniel Sturridge, Alberto Moreno, Lucas Leiva, Kolo Toure and Jose Enrique.

Klopp has never managed outside Germany but is confident he will have no problem communicating with his players.

"We will all have English lessons," he said, before adding: "I was relieved after the first press conference.

"I have said some stupid things in my life. But never in English.

"Did I dream about becoming a Liverpool manager when I was a kid? No, I dreamt about playing for Stuttgart, and that didn't work out.

"But I am totally humbled to be here. It is almost a bit bizarre - there have been so many good and successful German managers and yet no one has been here."

Klopp, who faces Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Saturday in his first game in charge, also said that he had not planned the "Normal One" quote that made the headlines after his first press conference.

"No, I hadn't thought about that at all," he said.

"I was asked and simply answered. Sometimes it is better to keep your mouth shut - but that is quite difficult at a press conference."

THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 13, 2015, with the headline 'Stylish play before titles for Klopp's Liverpool'. Print Edition | Subscribe