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Liverpool Coach Pep Lijnders: Reds 'Search for Perfection' Under Jurgen Klopp

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2020

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 11: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) head coach Juergen Klopp of Liverpool FC looks on after the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Liverpool FC and Atletico Madrid at Anfield on March 11, 2020 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Max Maiwald/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Liverpool assistant boss Pep Lijnders said the club's success under manager Jurgen Klopp is the result of a collective effort in striving for excellence in all levels.

The Reds are 25 points clear of Manchester City in the Premier League, leaving them on the verge of their first league title in 30 years.

Lijnders told Liverpool's official website:

"The departments, how they evolved over the last four or five years, they all search for perfection knowing that perfection doesn't exist. See how our pitches are prepared each day by our ground staff… these things make us consistent.

"Each department is searching for and has the ambition and passion. I believe that only comes first from your leader and second, that it's trust and everybody wants to give one per cent more, so the team is better prepared for the next game."

Liverpool have enjoyed an incredible season under Klopp, racking up such a considerable lead by winning 27 of the 29 Premier League matches they've played.

Only City have scored more than their 66 goals, and they have the best defensive record in the top flight having shipped just 21.

They've stumbled in recent weeks, losing four of their last six matches in all competitions, resulting in their exit from the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup:

B/R Football @brfootball

Invincibles ❌ Treble ❌ Back-to-back UCL titles ❌ Liverpool's historic season hit a wall in just 11 days https://t.co/xPyOvMZDYQ

Nevertheless, they have enjoyed a period of sustained excellence under Klopp.

They have reached the last two Champions League finals, winning the most recent of those, and earlier this season they won the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup. The latter was for the first time in their history.

The Reds lost just once in the Premier League last season as they racked up 97 points, so overall they've lost just two league games since May 6, 2018, a run spanning 68 matches.

The Premier League has been suspended until at least April 3 following the outbreak of COVID-19, so they could win the title with a victory in their next scheduled match, per The Athletic's James Pearce:

James Pearce @JamesPearceLFC

So as long as a further postponement isn’t required then #LFC’s next game will be Manchester City away on Sunday April 5. If that goes ahead then Klopp’s side would clinch the title if they win at the Etihad.

Per ESPN's Dale Johnson, the hiatus is likely to be much longer, however:

Dale Johnson @DaleJohnsonESPN

Club bosses probably hope football can return, almost certainly behind closed doors, in May. This is a precarious situation which is probably doomed to failure. The peak of infections is expected from May. To think clubs and squads are not going to get infections is fanciful.

On Tuesday, UEFA announced their intention to finish domestic competitions by June 30, having postponed the 2020 European Championship until next year.

If and when the season does resume, Liverpool will need just six more points to guarantee themselves the title. If they play closest rivals City in their next fixture, then they'll only need to win that match.

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