Liverpool legend Mark Lawrenson: Jurgen Klopp's X-Factor has won players' respect

J├╝rgen Klopp thinking

Jurgen Klopp's 'X-Factor' has already won the respect of his Liverpool squad, according to ex-defender Mark Lawrenson.

Klopp replaced Brendan Rodgers last month after the Northern Irishman was suddenly axed in the wake of a 1-1 draw with Everton on October 4, and the charismatic German has already re-energised a squad that was desperately short of confidence in the dying embers of Rodgers’ reign in the Anfield hotseat.

The former Borussia Dortmund coach is unbeaten since joining, and he picked up his first win as Reds boss in a 1-0 victory over Bournemouth in the League Cup last Wednesday.

However, it was the 3-1 win away to Chelsea on Saturday that has truly lit the blue touch paper on Klopp’s reign with the five-time European Cup winners, and Lawrenson believes that the ex-BVB manager has got his players’ confidence back.

Speaking after the victory over Jose Mourinho’s embattled champions, Lawrenson told the Liverpool Echo: “An aspect I've picked up about Jurgen Klopp already is that, as well as being a good football manager, he is a great man-manager.

"That's not something you can really tell from afar. But I'm seeing signs. He has that X-factor; people like him and he already has earned respect. It's not just about managing the team, it's about managing the squad.

“After the Bournemouth game last week, I saw an interview on LFC TV in which Klopp was talking about the win. He didn't just mention the youngsters who had come in and done well, nor did he just talk about Roberto Firmino or goalscorer Nathaniel Clyne.

“Klopp mentioned every single player by name. And he even spoke encouragingly about Divock Origi, even though the Belgian hadn't had the best of games. Klopp has a way with words. He makes the players feel good about themselves. For me, that's really, really clever.”

Klopp opted to use Roberto Firmino as a striker against Chelsea but it was the introduction of Christian Benteke that sparked the Reds into life against the Blues.

The £32.5 million striker missed a number of games with hamstring and knee injuries this term, but he is currently the top scorer for the Anfield side with four goals this term.

The continued absence of Daniel Sturridge places the goalscoring burden firmly on the shoulders of the powerful Belgian international, but back-to-back goals for Klopp’s men from the substitutes’ bench has given his new boss a perfect glimpse into his capabilities.

Liverpool return to action on Thursday when they travel to Russia for a Europa League clash with Rubin Kazan before a visit from Crystal Palace on November 8.

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