GENK, BELGIUM - Wednesday, October 23, 2019: Liverpool players celebrate with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after he scored the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between KRC Genk and Liverpool FC at the KRC Genk Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool hire sports psychologist to take “next step” under Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool brought sports psychologist Lee Richardson into the club in the summer, with Jurgen Klopp keen to improve the infrastructure further.

The Reds have looked to take advantage of the fine margins in a number of areas, with Klopp appointing specialists to aid him at the training ground, in pre-season and on matchdays.

Among those, Mona Nemmer was hired as head of nutrition in 2016, Thomas Gronnemark has been working part-time as throw-in coach since last year and pro surfer Sebastian Steudtner gave a series of talks over the summer.

Now it has emerged that Richardson was appointed in June, to operate as a performance psychology consultant, having previously worked at the likes of West Ham, Wigan, Crystal Palace and Hull.

The 50-year-old is also filling the role of sport psychology consultant for the Lancashire County Cricket Club, as well as his own performance management company, AIM-FOR.

Richardson was previously a professional player, whose senior career began in 1987 and ended in 2004 at Chesterfield, where he took over as manager in 2007.

According to The Athletic‘s James Pearce, Richardson began working with Klopp’s squad in July, and works from his own office at Melwood three days a week.

In an update on the club’s new training ground in the Guardian, it was confirmed that “a sports psychologist will be based in the centre of the facility to encourage players to use them regularly,” which will surely be Richardson.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, October 1, 2019: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group E match between Liverpool FC and FC Salzburg. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Pearce adds that he arrived on the recommendation of Philipp Jacobsen, who himself joined Liverpool in 2018 as medical rehabilitation and performance manager.

“It’s just for us the next step,” Klopp explained.

“It’s difficult to find the right people with how I see it in that part of the business. Now we feel pretty good with him on board and that’s cool.”

It is not the first time Liverpool have employed a sports psychologist, but it is believed to be the first time since Steve Peters, who worked under Brendan Rodgers but left soon after Klopp’s appointment in 2015.

The Reds have showcased a strong mental resilience so far this season, battling late into games and securing vital results.

While it would be remiss to suggest this is due to Richardson’s input, his arrival should be considered essential given the growing strains on modern footballers both on and off the pitch.