Michael Flynn will try and exude the Germanic calm and certainty of Jurgen Klopp when Newport County begin their play-off quest tomorrow night.
Flynn – a lifelong Liverpool fan – is feeling inspired by the club’s incredible 4-3 aggregate victory over Barcelona on Tuesday night that took that took them into the final of the Champions League.
It was a night of pulsating drama, passion and relentless energy but Flynn has an insider’s view of the Anfield methods thanks to his visit to the Premier League club in March.
The County boss spent a day shadowing Klopp, thanks to a link with Pep Lijnders, Klopp’s assistant, who was a colleague of Flynn’s on a recent coaching course.
And what struck Flynn – the mastermind behind County’s stunning two-season resurgence – was the laid-back environment Klopp has created at the Premier League title-chasers.
“The one thing I did take away was that I couldn’t believe how relaxed they all were,” said Flynn, ahead of his team’s first leg of their League Two showdown against Mansfield at Rodney Parade.
“They were all enjoying training and being together and everybody was treated equally – from Mo Salah to Rhian Brewster – they were all exactly the same and they all got on.
“I watched them train and the enthusiasm from someone like James Milner was immense, because he’s been in the game a long time and he leads by example.
“A lot of things are quite similar to what we do – the togetherness, the way all the boys get on and treat each other with respect and treat everybody at the club with respect.
“I’m not trying to do what Jurgen Klopp does, I’m trying to do what Michael Flynn does.
“But if things are similar then I won’t be too disappointed with those comparisons because he’s one of the best managers in the world.
“As for the comeback – even Jurgen thought it was nigh-on impossible. For me, it’s probably the biggest result in the history of the Champions League – even better than AC Milan in Istanbul.
“It’s an unbelievable achievement to beat a team who’ve got Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez and players like that, 4-0. As a Liverpool fan, I’m buzzing.”
Newport may be a different world to Liverpool – and Mansfield are a different universe to the one that revolves around Lionel Messi and Barcelona – but there are certain universals to a two-legged tie.
As Barcelona can confirm, the tie is rarely decided after one-leg and whether or not Newport gain an advantage in the first 90 minutes, they will have work to do in the return on Sunday.
Mansfield finished three places and five points ahead of Newport in the regular season which concluded last Saturday but Flynn added: “I’m quite happy with them being favourites.
“They finished fourth, they finished above us in the league season, they’ve got a very good group of players, they’ve got an ambitious manager and a lot bigger budget than us.
“They’re rightfully favourites and we go into the game with nothing to lose and everything to gain. It’s going to be down to us to upset the odds.
“But we’ve got the home game first and it’s going to be rocking at Rodney Parade.
It’s going to be a big crowd and it’s going to be a tough game for Mansfield.
“The players are so relaxed. They take everything in their stride. They’re an absolute joy to work with and they make my job a lot easier.
“There are no egos, there’s a massive togetherness – probably the best I’ve seen throughout my career – and they just keep proving the doubters wrong.
“Let’s hope they do it another three times.”