Van Dijk Thrives Under Straight-Talking Klopp

Van Dijk Thrives Under Straight-Talking Klopp

Virgil van Dijk says straight-talking Jurgen Klopp gets the best out of him, describing the Liverpool boss as a “fantastic coach”.

Van Dijk has been outstanding for the Reds since joining from Southampton just over 12 months ago, playing a big part in helping Klopp’s side become Premier League title contenders this season.

The centre-back is among the favourites for the PFA Player of the Year award and, after sitting out Tuesday’s 0-0 Champions League draw against Bayern Munich, will return to the line-up for Sunday’s big clash at north-west rivals Manchester United.

Van Dijk admits Klopp has had a big impact on him since he swapped St Mary’s for Anfield and has revealed how he manages to coax the best out of players.

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The Netherlands international told BBC Sport: “What advice does he give? To believe in yourself and never give up. Always work hard and stay full of confidence, and he gives you the confidence you definitely need.

“He will tell you straight if you don’t do it well, personally I’m a big fan of that, somebody who shouts at you when you need it and sometimes I need a bit of shouting at as well. I think he’s a fantastic coach.”

Van Dijk believes he has at least nine more years left in him at the top and wants to play on until he’s 36.

He added: “I’m 27, hopefully I can play if I’m still enjoying it until at least 36. After that, you can’t really play at the highest level anymore, so you have to enjoy it.”

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