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‘We want to make it a special day’

Updated on: 25 February,2024 07:36 AM IST  |  London

Skipper Virgil van Dijk determined to outclass Chelsea in today’s League Cup final for Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who makes end-of-season departure

‘We want to make it a special day’

Virgil van Dijk. Pic/Getty Images

Liverpool have their sights on a “special” League Cup triumph in Sunday’s final against Chelsea as Jurgen Klopp reaches the first milestone moment of his long goodbye. 

Klopp is in his last season as Liverpool manager after the German’s bombshell announcement that he will step down at the end of the current campaign. 

Although Klopp is convinced he no longer has the energy to drive Liverpool’s relentless quest for silverware, there has been little sign of the feared decline in his side’s fortunes following his stunning revelation.

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Jurgen KloppJurgen Klopp

Liverpool have won five of their six matches in all competitions, scoring 21 goals in the process, since the 56-year-old revealed his plan to quit.

Extending that hot streak at Wembley this weekend would give Liverpool their first trophy since 2022, when they beat Chelsea in both the FA Cup and League Cup finals. 

Six major trophies for Klopp

Klopp has won six major trophies during an iconic nine-year reign and his quadruple-chasing players are desperate to give him a silverware-filled farewell. 

As well as this weekend’s date with Chelsea, Liverpool sit four points clear at the top of the Premier League, face Southampton in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday and take on Sparta Prague in the Europa League last 16. 

“We want to make it a special day and get our first trophy of the season,” Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk said. 

“The end of the season will probably be very emotional for a lot of people, including the manager, but we are not there yet.”

Klopp’s assistant Pep Lijnders echoed Van Dijk’s call to make it a day to remember for their boss. “We’ll go for it. It’s a special game. Special games need special performances so we have to focus on that,” Lijnders said.

‘We are stable enough’

Lijnders insisted Klopp was always confident Liverpool’s players would keep their focus after his shock announcement. “I think you underestimate our squad, the personalities in it,” he said. “A lot of these boys didn’t win anything with Liverpool yet so of course they give everything despite the manager saying he is leaving. We are stable enough to deal with it.”

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