Virgil van Dijk has insisted he and his teammates are determined to end Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp era on a high after he announced his decision to leave the club.
Klopp will stand down from his role as the Reds’ manager at the end of the 2023/24 season, and his side have the opportunity to win four more trophies in that time.
Liverpool are through to the final of the Carabao Cup where they will face Chelsea, while they also sit top of the Premier League and are going strong in the FA Cup and Europa League.
In an interview with Liverpool’s club channels, Van Dijk revealed he was shocked by the news but said there is new motivation for the team to win as much silverware as possible.
“It’s a hard one to take, because the manager means so much for us, to me, to the club, to the whole Premier League I think. But he made the decision for him and his family. It was always going to be a tough one and it was definitely the case,” Van Dijk said.
“He told us in private of course, and all of us were together. Like I said, it’s a hard one to take but our mindset is to focus on business. We have a lot of targets still to achieve this year and why not finish the season on a high and together with celebrations for the boss as well?”
News of Klopp’s decision has stunned the footballing world and made headlines across the globe, but Van Dijk believes it is important to now silence the outside noise.
“I think how we always try to manage noise from the outside. Of course this is massive, it’s massive news in football. For us, it was also a very big day. But we have big targets this year and that’s definitely stressed by the manager as well,” he added.
“For us and for me personally as well, I want to make sure the rest of the boys think like that too. I think that’s the case as well. We all want to achieve so much and that mindset was already there since pre-season and that doesn’t change. It will maybe even give you an extra boost to do that extra or maybe enjoy it a little bit even more together and make the last part of the season, the last bit of the manager’s time at the club, the best time he’s ever had. That’s what we strive for and that’s why it’s business as usual.
“I think it will be a collective feeling and like I said already, I didn’t have any feeling so far that that wasn’t the case. I think it just should give you that extra boost, that special feeling that let’s make the most out of it. I think that feeling was already [there], like I said before, since pre-season that we wanted to make things right from last year and we have to keep that going. As a fan and as a supporter of the football club, it will also feel that way. You want to be there and you want to be there for the team, be there for the manager. Let’s make the rest of the season a special one so he can have the farewell that he definitely deserves.”
Klopp appointed Van Dijk as Liverpool’s new club captain in the summer following the departure of Jordan Henderson, and the Dutchman said he feels an added responsibility to make sure the season ends with success now.
“Yeah, definitely. I think for me personally, like I said, my mindset is making sure our goals that we have and our targets that we are trying to achieve don’t get disrupted by the news. That’s what the manager wants as well,” he continued.
“We want to achieve a lot of things and carry on with the form we have, with the way we are playing, with the players who are doing so well and keeping that confidence. That’s why we have to keep going. Like I said, that’s what the manager wants as well and we have to block out the noise from the outside world, tunnel vision and focus on hopefully achieving success in these months for the manager at the club.”
What we know
- Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk has discussed Jurgen Klopp’s exit
- Manager to leave Anfield at end of season
- Van Dijk reveals extra motivation to win more silverware.