herald

Sunday 4 December 2016

Klopp dismisses Sam theory that Liverpool being run into ground

Jurgen Klopp Photo:PA
Jurgen Klopp Photo:PA
Phillip Coutinho Photo:Reuters

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has dismissed Sam Allardyce's criticism of his methods by insisting he is not overloading his players with running.

The Sunderland boss, who recently called Klopp a "soft German", offered his thoughts on the Reds' current injury crisis which has sidelined 10 first-team players, six of whom have or are recovering from hamstring injuries.

"That is him asking his players to play a high-tempo pressing game from the top end," Allardyce said.

"I don't think Jurgen has realised just how ferocious our league is at this period of time and because he has asked for that extra-high energy - that extra 10 yards - these lads are fatiguing now with so many games in such a short period of time and are picking up these muscle strains."

Klopp, who is likely to travel to their FA Cup tie with Exeter tonight with no senior central defenders - hit back at the Black Cats manager and rejected his claims.

"I am glad for Sam, such an experienced manager, that he has time to think about Liverpool's problems - I don't have time to think about this," he said.

"I knew about the Premier League, the fixtures, the intensity of the football here.

"There is no time for training, only recovery, the game is our only session in the week to be honest.

"We know about our situation, we know in most of the cases about the reason.

"One injury at the wrong moment is a problem for the whole squad because other players have to play too much but you have to react to this.

"Two weeks ago we never knew we would have a problem with centre-halves." Since arriving in mid-October, Brendan Rodgers' replacement Klopp has regularly corrected what he sees as misconceptions about his methods - particularly the high-intensity gegenpressing tactic which he employed with such success at Borussia Dortmund.

Intensity

"The problem is now people speak about the intensity of my style - I didn't create a style, how could I? I am not a genius," he added.

"We play only football and a team like Liverpool, with the ambitions the club have, we have to find a way to be successful. For this you need players, a little bit of luck with injuries but we haven't had too much of this.

"Maybe the first game against Tottenham was more intensive than the other games and now we make a few sprints more but not 500 more.

"It is completely normal, average running - football is not all about more, it is more about thinking quicker and being quicker in the right position.

"As long as you are not quick enough in mind then you have to run a little bit more."

Klopp has at least 10 first-team players - including Phillip Coutinho, Dejan Lovren, Martin Skrtel, Daniel Sturrudge and Divock Origi - currently unavailable which has forced him to take immediate action by recalling players out on loan.

Having already brought winger Ryan Kent back from League One Coventry he has now summoned centre-back Tiago Ilori, who has yet to make an appearance in English football despite arriving in September 2013, back from Aston Villa while forward Sheyi Ojo has returned from Wolves.

And Klopp has not ruled more on-loan players returning - defender Andre Wisdom is on loan at Norwich but he has not played since mid-December because of a hamstring injury while fellow youngster Lloyd Jones has been out for three months with an ankle problem at Blackpool.

Liverpool have until midday today to register players for the FA Cup.

"We have thought the last few days about what we can do in our situation and the first thing is we take back our own players," Klopp added. "That is a normal thing, even if they have not the perfect situation at the clubs where they are on loan like it was with Ojo and Kent or Tiago.

"These are our players and we have a situation. In my opinion, the best skill and the biggest talents should be in your own club so they can play together at under-21 and develop as a team.

"If they make big steps then pick them so you always have them around you.

"Now we take them back and it is a big chance for the boys but there is no pressure because they are so young.

"If they do well they can make the next step quickly but if not they have time - that is the good thing when you are young.

"We want to work with them and we will see what happens. I am not too sure at this moment (whether any more will be brought back) but it is possible."

Promoted articles

Entertainment News