Virgil van Dijk interview: 'Let's make the rest of the season a special one'

Q&AVirgil van Dijk interview: 'Let's make the rest of the season a special one'

By Glenn Price and Chris Shaw


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Virgil van Dijk believes news of Jürgen Klopp's departure from Liverpool at the end of the season will only increase the squad's already sky-high determination to deliver silverware.

It was announced on Friday that Klopp has decided to leave his post as manager of the Reds upon the completion of the current campaign.

Offering his reaction to, Van Dijk described his emotions when he and the team were informed at the AXA Training Centre.

And the No.4 went on to reiterate the boss' insistence that all focus should remain on the pursuit for honours in 2023-24, continuing with Sunday's Emirates FA Cup tie against Norwich City.

Watch our chat with the captain in the free video below, or read on for the full transcript…

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Virgil, obviously the manager has announced he is going to leave the club at the end of the season. What was your reaction to the news?

It's a hard one to take, because the manager means so much for us, to me, to the club, to the whole Premier League I think. But he made the decision for him and his family. It was always going to be a tough one and it was definitely the case.

It was a private moment for the boss and for the players, but are there any details you can share on how he told the players and what the reaction was?

Yeah, he told us in private of course, and all of us were together. Like I said, it's a hard one to take but our mindset is to focus on business. We have a lot of targets still to achieve this year and why not finish the season on a high and together with celebrations for the boss as well?

The manager was really keen in his interview to stress it's business as usual. How do you ensure that happens? You see the media at the moment, it's everywhere – how do you ensure there is no distraction?

I think how we always try to manage noise from the outside. Of course this is massive, it's massive news in football. For us, it was also a very big day. But we have big targets this year and that's definitely stressed by the manager as well. For us and for me personally as well, I want to make sure the rest of the boys think like that too. I think that's the case as well. We all want to achieve so much and that mindset was already there since pre-season and that doesn't change. It will maybe even give you an extra boost to do that extra or maybe enjoy it a little bit even more together and make the last part of the season, the last bit of the manager's time at the club, the best time he's ever had. That's what we strive for and that's why it's business as usual.

I think a lot of fans will be really pleased to hear that, because they are talking about making sure the boss' last few games are as successful as can be. Is that something you're going to have to transmit to the other players or will it be a collective feeling from day one?

I think it will be a collective feeling and like I said already, I didn't have any feeling so far that that wasn't the case. I think it just should give you that extra boost, that special feeling that let's make the most out of it. I think that feeling was already [there], like I said before, since pre-season that we wanted to make things right from last year and we have to keep that going. As a fan and as a supporter of the football club, it will also feel that way. You want to be there and you want to be there for the team, be there for the manager. Let's make the rest of the season a special one so he can have the farewell that he definitely deserves.

Do you feel any added responsibility as captain in ensuring that this season isn't disrupted?

Yeah, definitely. I think for me personally, like I said, my mindset is making sure our goals that we have and our targets that we are trying to achieve don't get disrupted by the news. That's what the manager wants as well. We want to achieve a lot of things and carry on with the form we have, with the way we are playing, with the players who are doing so well and keeping that confidence. That's why we have to keep going. Like I said, that's what the manager wants as well and we have to block out the noise from the outside world, tunnel vision and focus on hopefully achieving success in these months for the manager at the club.

A big week is coming up as well – Norwich, Chelsea, Arsenal. There's not much time to reflect and think really, is there?

No, definitely not. That's the beauty of football as well. We are ready for the FA Cup this weekend and it's going to be a tough one, big one. We have players coming back, so that's a big positive too and we need everyone – and that's what we have been showing throughout the whole season. Yeah, I'm looking forward to that and then, like you said, we're back in the Premier League and it's going to be two tough games ahead of us as well. Let's go out there and enjoy it all, be there together as a group of players but definitely together and connected with the fans and everyone who supports us around the world. That's how we always have been doing and creating success. Let's see how this season will pan out but so far, so good and we have to keep working, stay humble and achieve our success.

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