Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has joked that he paid Steven Gerrard £100 to say nice things about him in a national newspaper on Friday.
The Anfield club meet Manchester City in the League Cup final on Sunday, presenting Klopp with the chance to secure his first piece of English silverware.
And, discussing Liverpool’s chances, club legend Gerrard told The Daily Telegraph: “I believe they will do it. They have an extra element which will make a massive difference: Jurgen Klopp.
“I think back to those finals I did win as a player and in the build-up the managers were crucial. Gerard Houllier and Phil Thompson were meticulous in their approach having us well drilled, in Thommo’s case bringing years of experience of winning trophies and playing major finals.
“When Rafael Benitez took over we had a manager who had just won the UEFA Cup and La Liga so you trusted him to get it right when it mattered. One of my most treasured winners’ medals was my last in the 2012 League Cup for Kenny Dalglish – a hero to me and my dad.
“I look at my old club under Klopp and I am certain they have appointed another winner. I can be sure he won’t be interested in trivial pre-match questions about going to Wembley, or cup final suits and all those other traditions. His obsession, just as it was for Houllier, Benitez and Dalglish, will be about how to bring that trophy to Anfield.
“Those Liverpool players will be looking at Klopp and believing he is the one to lead them to numerous trophies.”
Responding to Gerrard’s glowing reference at a news conference on Friday, Klopp commented: “Thank you Steve. I gave him £100 for saying that!
“I am not sure I am the difference, but I know the way. I have to show that as clearly as possible and make sure there is no misunderstanding between my mouth and the players’ ears.”