Liverpool chairman eyes ‘sustained success’ for champions

Children celebrate the victory of Liverpool at Anfield. (Reuters)
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Updated 28 June 2020

Liverpool chairman eyes ‘sustained success’ for champions

  • Werner believes the winning mentality created by Klopp will keep the team hungry for more success

LONDON: Liverpool chairman Tom Werner has backed the newly crowned Premier League champions to enjoy a period of “sustained success” under boss Jurgen Klopp.

Liverpool won the English title for the first time in 30 years on Thursday after Manchester City’s defeat at Chelsea sealed the title for the Reds.

Werner, part of the US-based Fenway Sports Group that owns Liverpool, believes the winning mentality created by Klopp since he took charge in 2015 will keep the team hungry for more success next season.

Liverpool also clinched the Club World Cup in December and were Champions League winners last season, but Werner is confident the good times are not over yet.

“We want to undersell and overdeliver. We hopefully would be ensuring another period of sustained success,” Werner told Liverpool’s website on Saturday.

“The competition is fierce and I know our rivals are working tirelessly to upend us. But we’ve got such talent in place as Jurgen, as Michael (Edwards, sporting director) and the team on the pitch.

“One of the things that stuck with me this year was their hunger for winning. I don’t think that will be diminished. They’re such a good group of players.

“I have such fondness for them as individuals off the pitch. They’re humble, they’re kind, they enjoy each other’s company. You could see that in the videos when they were all celebrating.

“It’s a lot to ask them to stay at this extraordinary level but it is our goal to continue to play with this quality.”

Werner heaped praise on Klopp for rescuing Liverpool from mediocrity, but stopped short of rating the German alongside the club’s iconic former managers Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley.

“I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing or watching the great football of (Bill) Shankly and (Bob) Paisley, so I don’t really want to compare Jurgen to previous managers,” said Werner, who has been chairman of the Merseyside club since 2010.

“I just know that the league is extremely competitive and when we first became involved in Liverpool over 10 years ago, we were not even thinking about winning the league.

“Our dream was to just become top four and make it to the Champions League.

“He has just created such an atmosphere at Liverpool that there’s no alternative except to win. He has created such an atmosphere.

“One of the things that I’m just joyful about whenever I watch the team is how many players contribute.”


Pakistan must be ready from word 'go' against England, says coach Misbah

Updated 03 August 2020

Pakistan must be ready from word 'go' against England, says coach Misbah

  • England return to Old Trafford for first Test in another three-match series against Pakistan starting Wednesday
  • England are notoriously sluggish starters and have lost the opener in eight of their past 10 Test series

LONDON: Pakistan coach Misbah-ul-Haq has urged his side to get off to a flying start in their Test series with England, saying they must be at their best “right from the word ‘go’.”
England are notoriously sluggish starters and have lost the opener in eight of their past 10 Test series, including a recent 2-1 home success against the West Indies that marked international cricket’s return from the coronavirus lockdown.
They now return to Old Trafford, the scene of their two victories over Jason Holder’s men, for the first Test in another three-match series, against Pakistan, starting on Wednesday.
Misbah, suggesting England would have the advantage of momentum, told reporters on Monday: “We should be ready for an England team that have already had three matches of experience and they won their last two Test matches.
“We have to really come in this Test series right from the word ‘go’ at our best if we want to win a Test series or a Test match here.
“We are aware that England have a slight advantage but if we are alert and go 100 percent in the first Test match, that is the only way we can beat England, otherwise we will find ourselves in difficulty.”
Both England and Pakistan, who have played two intra-squad warm-up matches, boast talented pace attacks but Misbah, Pakistan’s captain when they drew a four-match series in England four years ago, believes his side also have the batsmen to give their bowlers enough runs to defend.
“It’s always tough with the Duke ball in England where the ball moves around off the seam and also in the air,” Misbah said.
“But this is where you can really fight and our batting looked in great shape in the last two series. We played in Pakistan but even in Australia we managed to score good runs in almost every innings.
“Shan Masood, Abid Ali scored centuries in previous series (at home to Bangladesh in February and at home to Sri Lanka in December). Conditions are different but still confidence plays a huge role in your mind when you’re coming from a series where you scored runs.
“Azhar (Ali) got a hundred (too, against Sri Lanka).
“In 2016 Asad Shafiq scored runs here, Babar Azam last time performed here in 2018 (when Pakistan drew a two-match series in England 1-1) and the way he’s batting at the moment, he’s confident and playing well.”
England’s attack, however, is set to feature James Anderson, closing in on 600 Test wickets, and Stuart Broad, who took his 500th in the third Test against the West Indies.
“It’s a challenge for us against an experienced and very good seam attack of England but I think we’ve got potential,” said Misbah.
“Mentally at the moment the guys are in good shape because they are coming from good performances.
“When you are confident mentally and in good shape, then you always can deliver on the field.”