Lucas Leiva has hailed the impact of Jurgen Klopp as the Liverpool manager prepares to take charge of his new team at Anfield for the first time.
Liverpool welcome Rubin Kazan to Merseyside in the Europa League on Thursday, five days after the Klopp era got under way with a promising 0-0 draw at Tottenham.
And Brazilian midfielder Lucas had nothing but praise for the former Borussia Dortmund coach at Wednesday’s pre-match media conference – although he joked that he could not really say anything else with the German sitting next to him.
“I can’t say anything bad!” Lucas quipped.
“It’s been really good, really positive. The game against Spurs was a little step in the way we want to go.
“We want to be a successful team, he’s been a success before. He has his own ideas, style and approach.
“The last week has been good, very demanding. We have a team that wants to improve. We are trying to take on board his ideas.”
Liverpool became the first team to out-run Tottenham in a Premier League game this season at the weekend, with their intensity evoking the famous ‘gegenpressing’ spirit of Klopp’s Dortmund team, who won two Bundesliga titles and reached the 2013 Champions League final.
Lucas added: “It was a very intense game against Tottenham. People were talking about running stats. We are fit guys, it is just a different style of football. We just need to adapt.
“The training sessions have been very good, very intense.
“Everyone is really excited, [Thursday] is the first game under him and Anfield. European nights are special and [Thursday] will be a good atmosphere.
“We just want to improve as a team. There’s no pressure on the team.”
Lucas continued to be questioned about working with Klopp, leading the German to intervene.
“If he thinks I’m an idiot he cannot so. So don’t ask him that,” Klopp said.