Pep Lijnders has revealed he plans to return to management, but has ducked questions about succeeding Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.
Lijnders was standing in for Klopp at Tuesday’s Carabao Cup press conference as the Reds prepare to face Leicester for a place in the League Cup semi-finals. The Dutch coach has been the man to front up to the press in the competition for the last few years. And the 38-year-old has plans to take a management job after the conclusion of his contract in 2024.
Apart from a six-month spell with NEC in January 2018, when he tried to get the club promoted to the top tier, the Dutchman has been on the coaching staff at Liverpool since 2014.
He was appointed as Klopp’ s new assistant manager in June 2018 and has been his right-hand man ever since.
But with Klopp’s contract set to expire in 2024, there continues to be speculation about who could replace him in the Anfield hot-seat.
Lijnders has been touted as a possible replacement. But he made it clear he will not think about that until his contract expires.
“That’s the plan (to be a manager again),” Lijnders said. “That’s the plan but Jurgen knows this.
“This isn’t the time to speak about these things because I have a contract until 2024. When the time comes, I will sit down with my management and will see the options I have.
“But we are in the middle of this project, this beautiful project, and after that I will decide. But definitely, yeah, that’s the plan.
“This is not the moment to speak about these things (becoming Liverpool manager one day).
“I will speak with my management in 2024 and we will see all the options that are on the table.”
Meanwhile, Lijnders insists the determination to win trophies is so high even 35-year-old James Milner still dreams of silverware.
The veteran midfielder has won league titles with Manchester City and Liverpool, in addition to the Champions League, the FA Cup, League Cup, European Super Cup and Club World Cup but the desire still burns bright.
Lijnders: They train every time as if it is a final
Even a Carabao Cup quarter-final at home to Leicester is something which has to be taken seriously.
“You have to watch one of our training sessions. It will take the greed (for trophies) question away, because they train every time as if it is a final,” said Lijnders.
“If we can make even a simple rondo very competitive, we do.
“We have a squad full of personalities. A squad full of boys who still dream. Say even James Milner is 35 and he still dreams of winning prizes.
“There is an opportunity to reach a semi-final and we know this and, of course, if you want to be a proper Liverpool legend, you need to win cups as well.
“But we don’t look further than this game.”
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