LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, July 31, 2022: Liverpool's first-team development coach Pepijn Lijnders during the pre-match warm-up before a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and RC Strasbourg Alsace at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool must become “a pain” for other teams again – Pep Lijnders

With Liverpool ramping up their preparations for the second half of the season in Dubai, assistant manager Pep Lijnders says the Reds are focusing on becoming “a pain” for all of their opponents once more.

Ahead of Sunday’s friendly against Lyon, Jurgen Klopp said he had shown the players examples of their excellent pressing situations from last season, something he wants to see his team regain between now and the end of the campaign.

With fitness levels already of a good standard, the Liverpool coaching staff are using their time in Dubai to relay a lot of tactical information to the players.

The onus seems to be on helping the players improve their intensity off the ball, with Lijnders saying he wants to see the Reds become a difficult team to play against once again.

“We have to become a pain for all the other teams again,” he told The National while in Dubai.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, October 11, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (L) and assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 4 game between Glasgow Rangers FC and Liverpool FC. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

Liverpool know they must find some consistency if they are to achieve anything in the Premier League this season, going into the break seven points behind fourth-placed Tottenham.

When quizzed on the team’s underwhelming start to the campaign, Lijnders suggested there was not a sole reason for their slump in form, and is hoping their “tough period” is now a thing of the past.

“If there was one simple reason or one simple conclusion – it’s never like this of course,” he continued.

“Many things came together that made the season more complicated and more difficult.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 12, 2022: Liverpool's first-team development coach Pepijn Lijnders during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“If you come to a phase where there is a lot of doubt and players and team are not as dominant as you were before, you have to find different solutions. But it’s arrogant to think that life will always go up, up, and up, how it went the last years.

“There will be difficult moments and it’s for me, Jurgen, for the rest of the staff, for the team, to deal well with the difficult moments. And honestly I never saw the team lose commitment, I never saw the team lose passion, I never saw the team lose togetherness.

“And if we have that, success will come back again, if they work like that. Hopefully the tough period is behind us.

“I believe with the character we have, if we keep them fit and if we keep them fresh, and we build on what we did, we will be back again. And there’s so much to play for still, people forget that sometimes; we will be there.”