Monday, January 23, 2017

Klopp unwilling to lead FA Cup replays criticism

SoccerNews in English Premier League 1 Feb 2016

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp refused to criticise the rules surrounding the FA Cup despite his team’s hectic fixture list.

A 0-0 draw against West Ham in the fourth round on Saturday added yet another game to Klopp and Liverpool’s schedule with the replay.

Despite a gruelling fixture list that included nine games in January, Klopp was unwilling to add to calls for FA Cup replays to be scrapped.

The German said the number of games was even taking its toll on him.

“These are your rules and I think most of them are older than we are,” Klopp said.

“You would say I’m crazy if I sit there, punch the air and say, ‘yeah, another game – let us play five’ but I have nothing to criticise.

“There is a debate, but I come from Germany and I am coming from the outside.

“I cannot lead the community and say ‘come on, let’s make a 16-team league’ or something like this. I love football, usually I can’t get enough of it, but sometimes it’s a bit different.”

The busy schedule has allowed Klopp to test youngsters, with the likes of Brad Smith, Kevin Stewart, Joao Carlos Teixeira and Cameron Brannagan starting against West Ham.

Klopp said it had been a good opportunity to see what the club’s younger players were capable of.

“With these young ones we have enough time to train,” he said.

“Not as a team before the next match, but when we come back and we have them in our sessions. I know a lot about these guys – that’s the only reason they played.

“The good thing is if we hadn’t had so many injuries and so many games then we wouldn’t have seen these guys, so it’s positive.”

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