Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva says life under new manager Jurgen Klopp has been “very positive” so far, as the German’s first game in charge approaches.
Lucas was one of nine first-team players to take part in Klopp’s first training session on Monday afternoon, with a number of key names still away on international duty.
The 28-year-old is pleased with the way things have started under the charismatic German, citing passion as a standout part of Klopp’s character.
“So far, so good. Monday was our first day on the grass with the new manager in charge. It has been very positive,” he told LFCTV.
“There is a lot of information and as players we need to listen a lot now, and learn and try to put everything he asks us to do onto the pitch and off the pitch as well. It has been very good, very positive and hopefully it will keep going like that.
“He seems to be very passionate – he likes to put in everything that he has and he asks the players for the same. Be very intense, be aggressive with yourself, is what he has been saying.
“Always try to be better, always give 10 metres more, because that will be the key to success. That is what he has been saying to us in the last couple of days.
“He seems to be a very open manager and someone that likes to be close to the players, but very straight as well. That’s what I’ve learned from the last couple of days and I think it was a positive way to start.”
The Brazilian spoke about the quality of Klopp’s Dortmund team being a reason why the Liverpool squad are excited about working alongside him, and also believes the Reds’ league position is far from the end of the world.
“He was so successful at his last club, Borussia Dortmund. Of course, when a manager like him comes it always gives you a lot of hope,” he continued.
“I watch a lot of football, of course. The year they arrived in the Champions League final, I remember their games, especially against Manchester City in Manchester, where they were fantastic.
The pictures you've been waiting for…Jurgen Klopp in Liverpool FC training!#LFC #LFCtraining pic.twitter.com/UgLcBLOsrH
— LFC Photo (@LFCphoto) October 14, 2015
“Working with him closely now will be even better. Hopefully, I’ll improve as a player. Everyone is looking forward to learning.
“It’s still early days in the season and we have a lot to play for. Hopefully, we’ll start very well under him and at the end of the season it’ll be a successful season for us.
“It’s a fresh start for everyone. Everyone is starting from zero really and everyone will have to prove that you deserve to be here and play for him.”
Lucas’ own future at Anfield has been questioned, with some of his critics unsure whether the Brazilian still has the dynamism and fitness levels to thrive under Klopp’s relentless style of play.
While he may not be the player he once was, his reading of the game and ability to press should make him a key player for this season at least.
> Jurgen Klopp tactical analysis: PART ONE – defence
> Jurgen Klopp tactical analysis: PART TWO – midfield
> Jurgen Klopp tactical analysis: PART THREE – attack