Borussia Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp has criticised winger Ivan Perisic for publicly complaining about his role at the club.
The Croatian’s agent Tonci Martic said his client was disillusioned about his lack of playing time, and Perisic himself claimed Klopp favoured others.
But Klopp has hit back, insisting his public utterances would get him no closer to the first team.
“I heard a few statements and it’s nothing dramatic. I already know that Perisic is not satisfied. It would be strange if he was, that is a fact,” he said.
“For the players it’s a withdrawal of love, when you don’t put them on the field.
“It’s not the first time this has happened and I know that so that’s normal.
“But the timing of the statement is not OK. I heard they tried to talk with me. I’m not that far away, so we could have discussed this issue earlier.
“Before you give an interview, not really because of Ivan – this happened a few times – but in future, if you think you can generate pressure with such statements, you’re wrong.
“That’s nonsense, so you doing that will get you nowhere.”
Perisic has played eight times in the Bundesliga this season – four times as a substitute – scoring twice.
The 23-year-old is unlikely to improve on that record when Dortmund face struggling Greuther Fuerth on Saturday.
Fuerth have not won a game since September 1, a run spanning nine games, but Klopp is preparing himself for a difficult challenge.
“I think Fuerth have improved a lot,” the German said. “They’ve played a few good games.
“I don’t really know which teams they beat, when they played away from home but I remember the 3-3 draw against Hoffenheim. That was a really good football match.
“We should also remember the game we played against Fuerth in the DFB Cup. It was anything but an easy task.
“So, as I said last week, the Bundesliga is not only about big teams, who are winning games in the Champions League.
“Teams like Greuther Fuerth or bottom side Augsburg might be in the relegation zone, but they play really good football.”