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Attacking balance, counter-pressing and winning second balls – Lijnders reveals Klopp’s 3 key elements

Liverpool first-team development coach Pepijn Lijnders has revealed the three key elements new boss Jurgen Klopp is seeking to instil in his players.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 17, 2015: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp and first-team development coach Pepijn Lijnders before the Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Kloppaganda)

Lijnders, who was promoted in the summer to begin working with the first-team after impressing at the Academy, appears to be more involved under Klopp, including taking the majority of the pre-match warmup.

“One [aspect] that [Jurgen] tries to implement and that you see is the counter-pressing – so stopping the counter – it’s a very important part,” he told

“But before that, I think the main goal that’s difficult to see in the stadium, difficult to see for the fans, is how we move when we have the ball when we are attacking.

“The fact that we are organised [and have] what we call attacking balance [means] that we are ready whenever we lose the ball.

“We can win it back as quickly as possible and we can apply aggressive pressure because we have enough bodies around it when we are playing.

“It’s difficult to see in the stadium but our balance is getting better and better in terms of when we are attacking.

“So we are thinking defensively when we are attacking and the other way around as well of course because of the counter-press.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, October 21, 2015: Liverpool's first-team development coach Pepijn Lijnders, first team coach Peter Krawietz and assistant manager Zeljko Buvac during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Europa League Group Stage Group B match against FC Rubin Kazan. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Dutch coach, who worked with PSV Eindhoven and FC Porto before joining Liverpool initially as under-16s coach in 2014, explained more about the concept of ‘counter-pressing’: “The moment we lose it we apply aggressive pressure, you see that, everybody wants that.”

The 32-year-old also confirmed Liverpool have been playing 4-3-2-1 in Klopp’s opening three games.

Emphasising the three things Klopp is focussing on in these early weeks, Lijnders reiterated:

“One pressing, two getting close, [three] try to win it back, then we can stay high. That’s what you see, it becomes easier and easier to stay high up the pitch, it becomes easier when we win the ball to play it out to find a free player.

“Loads of things to improve of course, as always, but if you ask me the things [Jürgen] is trying to implement in the sessions I think you can see those three things really well”

ARCHIVE: The methods of Pepijn Lijnders


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