Jurgen Klopp has defended under-fire Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho ahead of Liverpool’s visit to Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Mourinho has come under significant pressure following a dismal start to the season by the defending Premier League champions, who are 15th in the table with just 11 points from 10 games.
The Portuguese manager has courted controversy by clashing with staff and match officials throughout the campaign and was charged with misconduct by the Football Association in relation to his language and behaviour towards the match officials following Chelsea’s 2-1 loss to West Ham last weekend.
Defeat at Upton Park was followed by elimination from the League Cup at the hands of Stoke City on penalties on Tuesday.
But Klopp, who is seeking his first league win as Liverpool manager, said in his pre-match media conference: “I’m full of respect for his [Mourinho’s] work. If you’re not a journalist or a referee he can be a nice guy. I’m neither of those.”
Mourinho criticised Klopp prior to Real Madrid’s Champions League semi-final clash with Borussia Dortmund in 2013, saying the German talks too much.
However, Klopp insisted: “”He’s a nice guy. He is emotional. I am emotional. But we are professional enough to know after the final whistle normal life starts again. That’s what we did.
“Everything is okay between us, no problem.”
Asked about Chelsea’s struggles for form, Klopp added: “I have experience of this. Things like this can happen. I’m not close enough with Chelsea to know the reasons and I’m not a journalist so I don’t need to think all day about why things are.
“I’m interested in the football Chelsea have played recently and I don’t think it’s as bad as the results showed us.
“We have to respect the quality of Chelsea.”