Klopp feared to be sacked if Liverpool didn't improve
The Reds boss took over from Brendan Rodgers back in 2015 and knew that he was stepping up to a level he had not experienced previously.
Jurgen Klopp has revealed that he felt he would be sacked by Liverpool if he didn't oversee an improvement in the club's fortunes quickly enough when he first arrived.
The Reds appointed the former Borussia Dortmund head coach in October 2015, with the Merseysiders having finished in sixth place in the table the previous season under Brendan Rodgers.
And the German, who has since guided Liverpool to a Champions League crown and was on the verge of securing the Premier League title prior to the coronavirus pandemic, knew that managing the Reds was a step up that came with consequences for a lack of progress.
"It was clear we needed time," Klopp told Sky Sports. "It was clear we couldn’t fix it overnight. Everybody wanted that but it was clear [it couldn’t be done straight away].
"So I had to ask for time, that’s how it is. Before in my career I had never got the sack so I had no real experience with that. But I knew now I’m on a different level [at Liverpool] and if I cannot deliver here quick enough then I’m going to get the sack, as easy as that.
"That’s why I said if I sit here in four years still then something happened (Liverpool improving and winning trophies) probably in between now and then. It’s not that I asked for four years, I asked for a little bit of time. We got that.
"The nice thing was that after seven or eight games… they (Liverpool's owners) were really positive about the situation of signing me and that it would be the right one, together with my coaches. They realised ‘okay, yes, they’re on the right path’ and from that moment on they didn’t question it for one second.
"They were full of faith and trust and said ‘this is the path we’ll stay on and everything will be fine’. Who knows if you can win something in that difficult league but we’ll try this way.
"But we never really thought about losing finals when we lost them like against Sevilla, City or Real Madrid. Pundits said 'if he doesn’t win the next one then they have to change something'. That’s how it is. Internally nobody thought like this."
Klopp began his managerial career with Mainz before making the move to Dortmund in 2008. After seven years at Signal Iduna Park, the German head coach made the switch to Anfield and he insists that while his philosophy has stayed the same, his way of working has changed.
He added: "Some ideas were always the same, the organisation – or the idea about organisation – was similar, where I wanted my teams to win the ball back and stuff like this.
"These things never really change because I just think they are right, but of course as a manager you have to adapt your style to the quality of the players you have available.
"The quality increased a lot in the last few years, not only here; at Dortmund it was already different to Mainz. At Mainz it was different from year to year.
"But it’s all about the organisation. It’s not that I have a fixed idea of how it should be and then I try to push it through with the boys, it’s just I try to understand exactly the quality and skills of the boys and then to use that.
"Because the pitch in all my career was always the same size and the rules didn’t change too much since I was a manager. So these things are clear, so you have to try to adapt to different situations.
"Of course, a lot of things changed. The way I work changed; I started alone, now I have a lot of coaches next to me. That’s all different to how it was."
- Journalist at JJA Sport Studio: Football / Soccer
- Leader columnist department