April 27, 2018 / 7:50 AM / 23 days ago

Soccer: Alexander-Arnold praises Klopp for Liverpool exploits

(Reuters) - Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold has credited manager Juergen Klopp for the club’s impressive show this season and said the German’s influence and understanding has helped the Merseyside team flourish.

Soccer Football - Champions League Semi Final First Leg - Liverpool vs AS Roma - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - April 24, 2018 Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates after Sadio Mane scores their third goal REUTERS/Phil Noble

After two mediocre seasons in charge of Liverpool, Klopp has instilled a fast-paced attacking style of play that has helped the club reach the Champions League semi-final. They are third in the Premier League.

Liverpool won the semi-final first leg 5-2 against AS Roma at home and Klopp could lead them to their first Champions League final since 2007.

“He’s a massive influence. You hear a lot of players saying a manager is like a father figure, and I think that’s definitely the case with the manager here,” Alexander-Arnold told Sky Sports. “He’s really encouraging for young players...

“He understands the game unbelievably well... knows that mistakes will happen. But he knows it’s how you react to them, and how you keep on going, how to play with the team’s identity, no matter what the scoreline is, that we have to believe in our ability.

“The way we want to play is high-pressing, win the ball back as high as possible and play football, and that’s obviously what we try to do, and he instils that no matter what the score is.”

The Merseyside club have also progressed on the domestic front as Liverpool look to seal a top-four league finish for the second consecutive season. But Alexander-Arnold wants the team to aim higher.

“It’s not just about coming in the top four and finishing fourth,” Alexander-Arnold added. “It’s about trying to get third and second, trying to do as well as we can to push on to that next season.

“It’s important to push on at the end of a season to set you up for a season...”

Liverpool host Stoke City in the league on Saturday ahead of their Champions League trip to Rome next week.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly

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