Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe has sympathised with Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp, but acknowledged the Reds will have to “bite the bullet” amid scheduling concerns.
Klopp expressed his annoyance with the Premier League calendar and broadcaster BT Sport after it was confirmed Liverpool will visit Newcastle in the early kick-off on Saturday, April 30.
That leaves less than 72 hours to recover from the first leg of their Champions League semi-final with Villarreal before the return meeting three days after the visit to St James’ Park.
With the Merseyside club still in contention for the Premier League, one point behind leaders Manchester City – who they also face in the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday – Klopp called for “common sense” to be used.
While Howe appreciated the German’s frustrations, the Magpies manager suggested the scheduling problems were a result of the success of Liverpool, who have requested the fixture to be moved.
#UCL semi-final dates for your diaries…
Wednesday 27th April
Tuesday 3rd May
Estadio de la Ceramica
20:00 BST pic.twitter.com/45yqtS8TqG
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 13, 2022
“It’s a very difficult situation. They’ve been very successful this year, they’ve ended up playing a lot of games, so I understand it from their viewpoint,” Howe told reporters on Friday.
“I’d probably have the same opinion if I was them.
“For us, we’ve been in their position many times over the years where you look at it and you think, ‘How has it ended up this game being moved to this time or this day?’.
“But we have very little say in the fixtures in terms of when they come and how they sit, and you just have to react and deal with it.
“I have every sympathy with Liverpool, but they’re winning lots of games and they’re in lots of competitions, naturally it’s going to be that way.”
Asked if a fixture change would be unfair on Newcastle, Howe added: “We get told when to play and we’ll turn up and do our best. It’s not up to us to decide when games are played.
“We ended up with four away games in very quick succession recently, which was far from ideal for us, but we had to bite the bullet and get on with it.
“As I said, we don’t decide the fixtures, we’ll play the game. But I do have every sympathy.”
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!