EPL

Klopp congratulates 'nice guy' Hodgson - Roy is one of the greats of our business

By Sports Desk May 18, 2021

Jurgen Klopp has praised Roy Hodgson for his work at Crystal Palace but has no plans to match his fellow Premier League manager in working until he is 73.

Hodgson confirmed on Tuesday that he is leaving his role at Palace at the end of the season, insisting the moment feels right to step away from full-time coaching in the top flight.

The former Liverpool boss will conclude his Eagles tenure against the Reds at Anfield on the final day of the 2020-21 campaign, though Klopp is not sure the septuagenarian - who had spells in charge of Switzerland and England at international level - is ready to retire from the game just yet.

The German also revealed how Hodgson had an influence on his own managerial career, as well as congratulating him for his more recent work at Selhurst Park.

"Roy is one of the greats of our business," Klopp told the media.

"Years and years ago, my former manager who introduced the ball-orientated defending, he showed us a lot of videos of Arrigo Sacchi but as well from Roy Hodgson from his time in Switzerland, so he was obviously part of the inventive team of this kind of style.

"I knew him long, long before I met him, but when I met him it was even better, because he's a really, really nice guy, I have to say, and obviously highly energetic that he thinks he has to do this stressful job in this slightly advanced age.

"He did a great job. Staying in the Premier League when you are not fighting around the European spots is a massive achievement and he did that again and again with Crystal Palace. I couldn't have more respect for what he did, how long he did it and which level he did it.

"I'm not sure he will retire, maybe he stops only at Crystal Palace, searching for the next challenge, I would not be surprised about that, but on the day when he finally finishes, football will lose a really great person."

Asked if he planned to follow Hodgson's lead and work into his seventies, Klopp replied: "Nope, no chance. Hopefully I'm healthy and alive then, that would already be a great achievement, but no I will not coach anymore.

"If I'm still on the bench then you can remind me on that and tell me what rubbish I spoke years ago, but it's not in my plans at all."

While Palace are safe, this weekend's fixture could still have huge signifcance for Liverpool, albeit their first priority is picking up three points away at Burnley on Wednesday.

Goalkeeper Alisson's dramatic winner at West Brom helped keep alive their push to finish in the top four, though Klopp made clear ahead of the trip to Turf Moor that there is still plenty of work to do if his squad are to seal Champions League qualification.

"I don't want to speak about it [finishing in the top four]. For us it's very, very, very, very important, you saw that in the faces of the players when Alisson scored the goal," he said.

"We can speak about what it means if we have to speak about it on Sunday. Now we play Burnley and I really don't like this talk like we would have made it already before we play Burnley and Crystal Palace.

"It would be in my mind, at least, disrespectful, and I don't want to think about what it means.

"If we have on Sunday still a final for us then we had a positive result at Turf Moor. If we don't win on Wednesday then we don't have a final on Sunday, but we only have to focus on this one game."

Burnley sensationally ended Liverpool's 68-game unbeaten Anfield run earlier in the season, though Sean Dyche's side are winless in their last nine Premier League home games, their longest ever run without a win at Turf Moor in the top tier.

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