Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp warned his players he has a darker side if they fail to live up to expectations.
Klopp’s time in charge of the club has started with consecutive draws – a 0-0 result at Tottenham and 1-1 stalemate against Rubin Kazan in the Europa League.
The German’s public image is one of an eccentric and entertaining coach, but Klopp said his players would find out otherwise if they under-performed.
“If a player is full of motivation, concentration, readiness and passion, I am not hard with them. I have open arms and maybe give a last kick,” he said ahead of Sunday’s clash against Southampton.
“But if a player doesn’t understand the professional part of his life, it is a little bit of a waste of time.
“I can help if they are very young of course, talk to them and give maybe one, two or three chances.
“But when they are older and have had five chances with other managers, then it is a waste of time.
“I love to be something like a friend of the player, but not their best friend.”
Klopp met Liverpool’s owners on Friday, a day after the draw in Europe, and the message was clear.
The former Borussia Dortmund coach said he wanted minimal contact with the owners.
“They only want that I solve the problems,” Klopp said.
“It is always the same. The less contact we have, the better I think.
“[It means] everything is OK. That is what I want, we don’t have to stay in contact all day, [saying] ‘What happened this day?’ and so on.
“I am here, I am the manager, the sport part of this club is my responsibility and that is what I try to do all day. But we have a real good relationship, everything is OK.”