Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists there is no “serious” problem between himself and West Brom boss Tony Pulis.
Pulis issued a sarcastic apology after comments from Klopp describing West Brom as a “long-ball team” in the wake of their 2-2 Premier League draw at Anfield last Sunday.
The former Borussia Dortmund coach had angered Pulis towards the end of the match after celebrating Divock Origi’s late equaliser in front of West Brom’s bench before refusing to shake hands at full-time.
“Sometimes you do things in football you wouldn’t do in normal life but it wasn’t serious. Everything was different in those 98 minutes,” Klopp said on Friday.
“I have big respect for Pulis’ work. I wanted to go to the players and be with them [at full-time]. What can I say?
“I can easily say sorry for everything I said during game. It wasn’t a big problem. After the game I wanted to go to my team.
“Their second goal was offside and a foul. Nobody talked about this. It was all about Klopp, Pulis and going to the fans.”
Klopp, who has ruled out Dejan Lovren and James Milner from Sunday’s trip to Watford, went on to defend the form of Christian Benteke, who has not scored in the league since the 3-1 win at Chelsea on October 31.
“The situation is that, as a striker, if you don’t get enough crosses then you have to move more,” he said. “He’s only at 90 per cent after a long injury. I have time to work on it. He’s young enough to develop.”
Simon Mignolet drew criticism for his error that led to West Brom’s first goal at Anfield, but Klopp insists he is not worried about his goalkeeper’s form.
“Simon came out and wanted to reach ball because I said he should,” he added. “If you try, sometimes you miss. It’s not to do with quality.”