Christian Benteke has revealed that Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp acts like a friend to the squad but is effective because he retains their respect.
The Belgian buy from Aston Villa is enjoying his time working with the German, who had attempted to sign him for Borussia Dortmund in 2013.
But despite being a previous target for the 48-year-old, Benteke insists there is no chance of him becoming complacent and stopping his hard work to impress the coach.
“It was after my first year at Aston Villa,” Benteke told the Daily Mail. “My agent and the manager had a meeting about maybe doing a transfer but nothing happened.
“But it doesn’t matter that he tried to sign me before. Liverpool are a massive club and you have to fight for your place. It isn’t easy.
“He is our friend but he is not our best friend. That is the best way to put it, I think. He is there for us if we need him. We have to do what he wants us to do.
“The atmosphere has changed because we all know what he did at his previous club. Everyone wants to impress him.”
Benteke has been able to make an impact at Anfield since signing in the summer, with the 24-year-old stating he targets constant improvement to live up to expectations of fans and the shirt.
“When the deal was going through, I sat and searched,” he added. “I looked at what the club had won, how many leagues, how many Champions Leagues. That kind of thing. I saw that the top scorer was Ian Rush. It was important for me [to learn] because I wanted to know where I was going.
“I wanted to know what was expected. I know great strikers wore No 9 in the past, yes. But I don’t put pressure on myself. I just do as well as I can to help the club.
“They told me that the number was available and it would be good for me. So I took it. This is a step up but that was the reason I wanted to come. The expectation is big but that is good. I have to deal with it.
‘I’m always looking to pick up new things. So I look and I try to learn. I watch Robert Lewandowksi, Luis Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi most. They are all different scorers. I just try to be a good professional. I come in on a morning, I do my stuff in the gym. I work.
“People think because I am big that I am better in the air but I feel I am better on the ground. I’m happy with my ability. That is what I am going to say. I can run in behind defenders. I can play with my back to the goal. It isn’t a problem for me. I can mix it [styles].”