Liverpool coach reacts to Sir Jim Ratcliffe's 'compliment' about club

  • Pep Lijnders responded to Sir Jim Ratcliffe speaking on Liverpool
  • Man Utd co-owner wants to knock Reds 'off their perch'
  • He also praised both Liverpool & Man City for the way they operate
Liverpool have again become a target for Man Utd to match
Liverpool have again become a target for Man Utd to match / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

Liverpool assistant coach Pep Lijnders admitted is "says everything" about what the club have achieved under Jurgen Klopp that new Manchester United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe has put a target on their back as he attempts to revive a sleeping giant at Old Trafford.

During a round of interviews this week, Ratcliffe mentioned the recent success of both Liverpool and Manchester City, noting how well each club is run when he addressed his vision for United.

Having described City as "one of the best teams on the planet", Ratcliffe referenced Sir Alex Ferguson's famous 2002 quip about knocking Liverpool off their perch.

"We have a lot to learn from the noisy neighbour, and our other neighbour [Liverpool]. They are the enemy at the end of the day and there's nothing I would like better than to knock both of them or one of them off their perch," the INEOS chairman said.

"But equally, we are the three great northern clubs and we're all quite close to each other.

"They've been in a good place for a little while. Both of them. There are things to be learned from both of those clubs. They've got sensible organisations, great people in the organisations and a driven elite sort of environment that they work in. And as a consequence, the results have dropped out of the bottom. So I'm very respectful of them, but they're still the enemy."

Ratcliffe wants to overthrow Man City and Liverpool from the top of English football / VALERY HACHE/GettyImages

When asked about Ratcliffe's comments at a press conference on Friday, Lijnders replied: "Is that a compliment from United? That says everything."

Lijnders, who is set to leave Liverpool at the same as Klopp in summer in pursuit of a managerial gig of his own, also expressed optimism that United won't find it easy to catch up.

"No-one can replace Jurgen Klopp but the past showed a few difficult transitions," he said.

"What was the most difficult one here? Bill Shankly saying he was done. Who stepped up? It showed that we as a club search for someone who wants to grow, has the mindset to develop. We made the right decision to give [the owners] time to get this transition smooth.

"Barcelona...Pep Guardiola announced he was done and then Tito Vilanova took over and got them the most points."