For the most part, it appeared to be business as usual for Jürgen Klopp and his players as Liverpool pushed past Norwich 5-2 in a fairly dominant fourth round FA Cup tie. There were a few cracks, sure, like when Klopp appeared emotional as the fans sang You’ll Never Walk Alone before kickoff.
For the most part, though, the players played their part and Klopp played his—and mostly didn’t react to a few choruses of his song aired during the match, with the manager having previously requested that they wait until the game was decided to do that.
“It’s not always easy but I have to pull myself together,” he said afterwards of managing his first game following the announcement that he would be stepping down at the end of the season. “I received all the messages the people sent, I’m not made of wood so I get all of these.
“I said not too long ago, ‘Don’t sing the song during the game.’ People obviously stopped already listening to me, but it’s fine, we won the game, we scored after that, so the reason for being superstitious is done in that case and it was great.”
That sort of reaction in the first game following the announcement was natural, but Klopp thinks that as the fixtures pile up—and with potential league-deciding games against Chelsea and Arsenal next—the focus will fully turn to the game and players as he’d always prefer it.
“It’s the first game and I am not here to tell the people what to do,” he added. “It’s just we play Wednesday again so if we could then ignore the manager is leaving and just do everything to make it uncomfortable for Chelsea that would be great, and I know the people know that as well so I actually don’t have to say it.”