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Wednesday 17 January 2018

Angry Klopp takes swipe at Lovren critics

Hauled off: Dejan Lovren. Pic: PA
Hauled off: Dejan Lovren. Pic: PA

Jurgen Klopp likened press reaction to Dejan Lovren's performance against Tottenham to rubberneckers at a car crash.

The defender was substituted after only 31 minutes of Liverpool's 4-1 defeat, having been culpable for Spurs' first two goals.

After being asked for his reaction to Lovren deleting a reference to Liverpool from his Instagram biography and blocking incoming messages, Klopp hit out at the media.

The Reds boss, who must now decide whether to play Lovren from the start against Huddersfield today, said: "I don't wish one of you to have your mistakes discussed in public. You cannot even imagine how it feels.

"The boys are still human beings but you look like you are watching an accident and you are the kind of people standing around with smartphones instead of helping. I'm not this kind of person.

"We had a normal week. Of course it's not the nicest week in Dejan's life but it's only football.

"If I think about Dejan, I have much more positive things than negative things. Dejan had a good training week. We will see what we will do for the game but it's not about the last game, it's about Huddersfield and what will be the best line-up."

Liverpool have won just one of their last six league matches, slipping to ninth place, and Klopp has called on his side to be "confident" and "brave" against the Terriers at Anfield.

Much of the focus today will be on the managers, with Klopp facing best friend David Wagner on the touchline for the first time in a competitive game.

The pair were team-mates at Mainz in the early 1990s, and Wagner managed Borussia Dortmund's second team while Klopp was in charge of the first team.

Klopp admitted he cried when Huddersfield earned promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs, but it will be business as usual at Anfield.

"It's exciting" said Klopp. "I'm really happy that we will play against each other in the Premier League. Nobody would have expected that 20 or 30 years ago.

"When I was a kid I played all the time against my best friends and I enjoyed nothing more than winning. He is my best friend but that changes nothing for the game.

"I want to win that game, and I know him well enough that he thinks exactly the same. Nothing we say to each other during the game will stay a second longer in our minds than the final whistle.

"We played together and I said worse things to him than to any other person in the world and we are still friends. I was the defender, he was the skilled striker with not the perfect attitude so I helped him a little bit."

Liverpool could be without Philippe Coutinho, who is struggling with an adductor problem. Sadio Mane and Adam Lallana are still out.

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