Steven Gerrard has revealed the advice Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp gave him during a two-hour chat at the start of his managerial career.
Gerrard, who currently manages Scottish side Rangers, took his first steps into management in 2017 at his hometown club, taking on the role of manager of the U18s side at Anfield.
While other former players such as Frank Lampard and Paul Scholes took the direct route into management, the Liverpool legend decided to start at youth level before taking the job in Scotland following a chat with Klopp.
“The best thing I ever did was to go away from the cameras in the beginning,” Gerrard said, per The Mirror. “I had a real honest and open conversation with Jurgen Klopp for a couple of hours and the advice he gave me was: ‘Don’t go into this as Steven Gerrard with the name on your back.
“Go back to the beginning and strip it back like a car,” Gerrard continued. “Get your pitch confidence and get used to tactics and different formations. Try things, make mistakes and get it horribly, wildly wrong.
“Experiment and do all these things away from the camera but before you test yourself in the Europa League, before you test yourself in front of thousands and thousands of fans – put yourself in a better position before you go in there.
“Because I’ve seen tons of footballers with their names on their backs go in there and it doesn’t work.’”
The 39-year-old, who saw his side lose 3-1 at Ibrox to Bayer Leverkusen in the first leg of the Europa League round of 16 on Thursday, treasures the advice given to him by the Reds boss.
“That was the best bit of advice. I don’t think I will ever get a better piece of advice than that. Strip it right back and go back to the beginning.
“I have made mistakes over the last couple of years as Rangers manager but the trick is to learn from them.
“But this is a job where it’s impossible not to make them because you’re up against so many other good coaches.”
The Scottish Premier League was one of many divisions that have been suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The former Liverpool captain’s attempts to end Celtic’s dominance in the league looked bleak even before the suspension, with his side 13 points behind their rivals although they do have a game in hand.