Sam Allardyce has played down talk of a falling-out with Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp and insisted he had “no intention of trying to wind him up”.
Sunderland manager Allardyce was asked to comment on Liverpool’s injury problems on talkSPORT on Wednesday – the Merseysiders have 11 first-team players unavailable for Friday’s FA Cup clash with Exeter City – and suggested Klopp’s high-tempo style and a lack of understanding of the English game could be to blame.
Klopp responded on Thursday by sarcastically stating: “I’m glad for Sam that he is such an experienced manager that he has time to think about Liverpool’s problems.”
Allardyce’s news conference followed a couple of hours later and the former West Ham boss was in a conciliatory mood, suggesting the recent fixture pile-up meant all managers were in the same boat.
“We’re all suffering because of it,” he said. “I’ll probably suffer some injuries by the end of next week when we’ve played three games in a short space of time.
“I was just trying to say that he’s not experienced this level of football before and that could be one of the causes.”
Allardyce branded Klopp a “soft German” following Liverpool’s 1-0 win at the Stadium of Light in December but, despite that, and the apparent misunderstanding about the Reds’ injury situation, the 61-year-old is eager to ensure there is no lingering resentment.
Asked if he had fallen out with Klopp, he added: “I hope not, but I had no intention to wind him up.
“[TalkSPORT presenter] Alan [Brazil] asked me to talk about Sunderland and he threw in the question at the end.
“Perhaps I should have said it’s not one for me to answer, it’s one for Jurgen.”
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