Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has reiterated his stance regarding his decision to snub the Reds’ FA Cup fourth-round replay with Shrewsbury Town.
The German boss has handed down his managerial duties to U23s head-coach Neil Critchley and has also confirmed that none of Liverpool’s senior players will be involved in the Anfield clash in February.
“If we react how we always react and find a way to do it, then nothing will change,” Klopp said [BBC Sport].
“I decided three weeks ago we would have a mid-season break based on a letter we got in April 2019.”
The Premier League champions-elect are closing in on their first title in 30 years and will be looking to increase their 16-point lead at the top against West Ham United on Wednesday evening. Liverpool are also looking to defend their Champions League crown when they face Atletico Madrid next month.
Following the 2-2 stalemate at New Meadow on Sunday, Klopp chose to respect the Premier League’s inaugural winter break and confirmed he himself and the team will not be involved when the two teams meet next week.
He added: “I don’t want to be in the middle of all these discussions. I’m not a revolution guy who want to show the whole world how strong I can be. It’s absolutely not the reason.
“The only responsibility I feel is for my players and, to be 100% honest, for all the players as well.
“If we find a way to do it then nothing will change and I think all people in football agree that all things need to change.”
What RTK has to say
No one wanted it to come to this but the boss is well within his right on this one.
It’s bizarre that the idea of a ‘winter break’ would allow fixtures to fall in-between that time frame. Liverpool have already played 39 matches in all competitions this season and the squad has been riddled with injury following another gruelling campaign.
Despite the history that surrounds the world’s oldest cup competition, the reality is that the FA Cup falls down the pecking order in terms of priority.
Liverpool have the small matter of a first league title since 1990 and considering their vast superiority in the top-flight this season there is no reason Klopp’s team cannot make it three consecutive Champions League finals come May.