Read Andy Robertson’s reaction to signing a new long-term contract with Liverpool in full now.
The Reds left-back became the latest member of Jürgen Klopp’s squad to commit his future to the club on Tuesday.
Robertson also sat down for an exclusive interview with Liverpoolfc.com at the AXA Training Centre - watch it below, or read on for a full transcript…
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Robbo, congratulations on signing a new long-term contract. How does it feel to have committed your future to the club?
Yeah, great. Obviously when the negotiations started and it looked as if my future was going to be here longer term than what it was, then I think it’s no secret that I’m happy at this club. I want to stay at this club for as long as possible and to extend my stay, it’s always a happy time for me, for my family. We’re settled here, we love everything about this football club and I’m glad that the journey is continuing.
Tell us a little bit more about what makes you sure this is the right club for you?
I think it’s just from minute one I’ve felt welcome by the fans, by the people that are involved in the club and everything else and even when things maybe weren’t going as well on the pitch at the start, I still felt the love from the fans especially and the manager and the players. It was still a work in progress but now obviously I’m a bit more established and I still push myself every single day and that will certainly continue. But it was probably one of the easiest decisions of my life to extend my stay here. Like I said, it’s no secret how happy I am here and if there’s a couple of years getting added on to the contract, I’ll never hesitate.
You arrived here from Hull City in the summer of 2017 as a 23-year-old. You’re now 27, a father of two, and you’ve achieved so much. How have you developed as a player and a person since you joined Liverpool?
Massively. The development of a player is probably a wee bit more out in the open. Obviously every season I feel as if I’ve progressed in different ways and hopefully I’ll still keep progressing. I’m still trying to learn every single day, trying to improve my game every day, push myself to limits that hopefully I haven’t seen before. But I need to keep doing that, keep working hard on everything that I’m doing and hopefully get the rewards for that. As a person, like you said I walked in here still a young lad, probably with a lot more sleep under my belt! Obviously football brings joy but having two kids is the happiest it’s made me and so I’ve definitely progressed as a person as well and I think everyone who has been here since 2017, which is a lot [of people], has probably seen that and seen me progressing more and more into a man. Obviously I’ve got a lot of responsibilities at home but the responsibilities when I walk through this door have grown as well and I do feel as if I’m now one of the leaders in this squad and I try to help people around this place as much as I can as well.
It’s almost exactly four years to the day since your debut for the club. Since then you’ve played in two Champions League finals, won four major trophies and been appointed captain of your country… could you have ever dreamed of achieving so much in such a short space of time?
I dreamed of it but then I woke up, that was the problem! But luckily I’ve kind of made that a reality. When you sign for a massive club, I still remember the day as if it was yesterday when I signed here and obviously you have ambitions to become a regular player for Liverpool, to win trophies for this club, to do everything else but the way it’s gone has been excellent. But since the very start of my career I’ve always been one to look forward: that’s in the past, that’s something that I can sit down with the people who want to listen to me when I’ve hung up my boots and retired and I can tell them all the stories that we’ve already made. But I’m certainly one, and I know a lot of people in this training ground just now are people to look forward and people [who want] to create more history, more stories. Hopefully people get bored of me when I’ve retired and I can sit down for hours and hours and tell them about all the stories! They’re certainly building up but I want to make more and obviously hopefully starting with this season. We want to achieve more, we want to bring hopefully more trophies, more happiness to this club. The only way of doing that is by working hard and having the same application that we have done since day one.
This is your fifth season here now. You’ve established yourself as one of the best in the world in your position, but are there still areas of your game that you think can be improved?
I think every area I can still improve. Like I touched on before, I always want to get better. I look at ways how I can get better every single game, every single training session and that’s always the way I’ve worked. Probably my biggest doubter throughout my whole career has been myself and it’s always [about] trying to prove that person wrong. But I know that person inside my head will never be happy and that’s the way I enjoy it because I always want to strive for more. So that’s probably the reason I will never get comfortable, I’ll always try to keep pushing myself and like I said, try to take my game to different levels. Whether that’s trying to get more assists or whether that’s trying to get more clean sheets, it’s different things. You know, becoming more vocal, maybe things that not everyone sees. Last season was a big season for me and I look back on it with good memories. Some people out there would maybe say that I had a difficult season but I’d kind of disagree. I took on a different role; me and Gini [Wijnaldum] were the leaders at times with all the injuries we had and the way Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams played near the back end of the season, we take a lot of pride in that. Me and Gini helped them, Trent [Alexander-Arnold] helped them, and seeing those boys flourish was as big an achievement for me as me playing well as well and it meant that the more and more they grew in confidence, the less that I had to worry about them and the more we could all focus. These things are all different and it’s part of growing as a player, growing as a person, and I try to help the young boys as much as I can. But that was probably the most pleasing part for me last season.
You’ve also established yourself as a firm fan favourite here - you’ve got a song and a flag on the Kop too. What does that special relationship with the supporters mean to you?
It means everything to me. I think over the last 18 months it’s definitely been heightened that football without fans is nothing. It’s easy to say that but you see it in the game against Burnley, the away fans at Norwich and everyone coming back in the stadium. Even when I watch Match of the Day or whatever, every game has a different tempo, it has a different feeling to it, it has a different passion, and that’s because of the fans. The fact that the Liverpool fans have took to me so early doors was a massive help to me settling in and then I just wanted to make that stronger and stronger. I believe that they look at this team now and know that we all kind of represent them and if I’m one of them then that’s great, that’s exactly what you want: the fans of the club you’re playing for to love you, of course you do. I hope they do and I hope they continue to do it because the feeling I have towards them will never change and I hope the feeling they have towards me never changes. But time will tell!
There was a lot of excitement among the fans when you posted a photo of you running a few days ago and you were on the bench for Saturday’s win over Burnley. How is the ankle and when can we expect to see you back on the pitch?
I’m back in full training now. I fully trained on Friday, just one day before the game - maybe a bit ahead of schedule but I think the physios just wanted rid of me, to be honest! Obviously I’ve been very lucky in my career that I’ve not had too many injuries and certainly not long-term injuries, and long may that continue. But yeah, I’m a nightmare when I’m injured and I want to get back out on the pitch as quickly as possible. For me, as soon as I did it and I got the scan results I said, ‘I think Burnley is in my sights’ and there was a couple of people who said, ‘Yeah, you’ve got a chance’ so I managed to cling on to them and a couple of people said I had no chance so I avoided them until it was more realistic! I tried my best, I tried everything. I was out running [and] I felt as if I could maybe have trained a day or two earlier but the experts we have at this club are excellent and I still needed to tick a couple of boxes, and luckily I did that on the Thursday. Then I fully trained with the team on the Friday. Obviously the gaffer put me on the bench, which was probably unexpected but I was happy. When you’re at the game and everything is involved you just want [to be] on the pitch, but I think that was unrealistic yesterday [Saturday]. Now I’ve trained today and I’ll have a full week of training so let’s see what happens against Chelsea. But I’ll be ready, I’ll be ready to play, and like I said I’ll hopefully be fit for the rest of the season now.
Trent, Fabinho, Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk have also signed new contracts in the past few weeks. You’ve achieved a huge amount together as a team already, but do you feel like there’s still plenty more to come?
Yeah. Those four players are probably as good as a new signing, signing them for another how-ever-many years they’ve signed. Obviously other teams are spending quite big and things like that and we’ve got Ibou [Konate] in who has settled in magnificently, but tying these players down to hopefully their best years ahead of them is key. So obviously it’s great to have them all signed up, who knows what will happen, who knows who will be next, but this squad is a competitive squad. We all love playing with each other, we all love being in a changing room together and keeping that together is sometimes more important than adding new faces. Look, new faces will come and go, they already have done. But we’re building as a squad and it’s important that we keep on improving and adapting as a squad and I feel as if we’re doing that still and as long as that continues then we’ll be in a good place. The moment it stops, that’s maybe the moment when we need to change. But I believe that we’ve got the characters in there [so] that will never stop.
We spoke before about your development since you joined the club. Talk to us about the role Jürgen Klopp and the coaching staff here have played in that…
Massive. Especially at the start, obviously a lot of people can talk but they weren’t seeing what was happening behind the scenes. I always knew that I was very much part of Liverpool’s plans and a lot of that [not playing] was down to Alberto [Moreno] playing so well, a fantastic player that I’ve got a lot of time for. Obviously his injury gave me a chance to go and prove myself, but the months prior to that were so key. I was working so hard but of course fans and people out of the club only see, ‘OK, Robertson’s not with the squad’ or whatever. But that was probably crucial because I was at Melwood working my socks off and trying to understand what was needed from me and that’s why I knew when I got my chance, I would be in the best possible place to take it and that’s down to the coaches and down to the manager crucially. Obviously the relationship has just grown and grown and I think the gaffer probably wouldn’t have expected me to be one of the leaders maybe when he first signed me, but we’ve both adapted, we’ve both grown into roles and our relationship has got stronger and stronger and long may that continue. It’s obviously a different relationship now, I maybe don’t need as much looking after now, I can kind of look after myself as such. But obviously an arm around you always helps and the coaches and the manager are very good at it.
This is a long-term contract and we mentioned before that you are now 27. Is this somewhere you could see yourself spending the rest of your career?
Yeah. Look, you never know what happens in football but I’ve always said that if I can keep up a level which warrants playing for Liverpool Football Club then I’d love to play here for as many years as I can. That’s always been the aim since I signed here but you never know when my legs are maybe going to give up on me! Hopefully that doesn’t happen any time soon, I believe I’m getting stronger in stature never mind anything else, and hopefully in terms of getting up and down the best years are still ahead of me. But let’s see. Like you said, I’ve signed a long-term contract, I definitely don’t need to think about another one in the long term so the club, I’m sure they won’t be knocking on my door giving me a new one any time soon! But the relationship I have with this club is fantastic and I want to play here for as long as possible, and then when this contract runs out or it gets closer to running out then we’ll cross that bridge.
Finally, what would you like to say to the fans who are watching or reading this interview?
Probably what I’ve touched on: thank you for the support for me, but more importantly the team. It was a tough season last season without you and now that you’re back it makes things a lot easier. But the relationship I have with the fans I feel is a good one - I love them and long may that continue because they are a special group of fans. I think all the boys feel that and hopefully mine and their relationship can get stronger and stronger, but I know the only way of doing that is by putting in good performances and hopefully they can see that soon.