Klopp hits out at Liverpool’s fixture chaos ahead of clash with Brighton


Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has suggested the FA Cup should not have a weekend matchday with his side’s ‘tight’ schedule piling up ahead of their trip to Brighton.

The Reds – still feeling the effects of playing 63 matches in all competitions last season – are set to travel to the Amex this weekend and Klopp could not resist another rant about the club’s fixture chaos.

Liverpool have two games in hand to play but will be involved in the Champions League knockouts after booking a last-16 tie against Real Madrid next month, meaning more possible midweek slots will be booked up.

Klopp acknowleged the fact that progession in the FA Cup this year will make their scheduling situation even more ‘complicated’ should they see off Brighton and says he has ‘no clue’ when the powers at be will pencil in Liverpool’s spare games.

‘We’re not famous for going long in the cups apart from last year,’ he said at his pre-match press conference.

‘Cups are always difficult when you have midweek games because you have to keep an eye on it and now we have a full week to prepare the game.

‘In our tight schedule, I am not sure FA Cup should have a weekend matchday but we have it. We deal with it. It’s good to prepare but it makes things more difficult.

‘We still have two games in hands – someone has to fit it in somewhere. No news about that yet. No clue when that will happen. The further we go in cup competitions the more complicated it will be. It’s not a problem for now.’

It is not the first time Klopp has moaned about Liverpool’s fixture woes.

In August he compared the scheduling to a climate crisis with players facing a season of up to 76 matches following the World Cup break in November.

‘Everyone knows it is not right. Something has to change,’ he said.

‘It is like with the climate. We all know we have to change but nobody is saying what we have to do. If you go to the final of the World Cup, win or lose, there will be seven games.

‘And then there will also be a third-placed game. And the league starts a week later.

‘It is just not OK — but it was decided long ago. Everyone says it is for the right reasons…

‘I was not angry at all before I came here — but then we start talking about it and I get really angry.

‘Why don’t we just talk about it and do it properly? Let’s say, “Ladies and gentleman, Fifa, Uefa, the Premier League and the FA, let’s start talking to each other about this issue”. There must be one meeting where they all sit together and the only subject is the most important part of this game — the players.

‘Some managers will talk about it from time to time but all the rest have their own interests and that does not make it easy.

‘This World Cup happens at the wrong moment for the wrong reasons — but everything is fine.’

Liverpool will be looking to avenge their humiliating loss against the Seagulls that they suffered this month – losing 3-0 in the same stadium – but Klopp says he won’t force his players to watch the whole match back. The Reds are having a tough season and currently find themselves in ninth place.

‘We won’t show them all the situations from the Brighton game. It would be a proper horror show,’ he added.

‘It felt that bad for the players as well, it’s about general change and improvement. You can lose a game but if you learn from it, it’s important as well.

‘Against Brighton it’s massively important how we defend the first line. If the front three is not defending well they just pass through you.

‘If you defend Brighton with seven players…. no chance. It’s about how we defend in general.’

Meanwhile, Klopp confirmed that defender Nat Phillips could leave Anfield before the end of the transfer window next week.

The 25-year-old is fifth-choice centre-back and has made just five appearances this season and the recall of youngster Rhys Williams this week from a loan spell at Blackpool could pave the way for his departure.

‘Depends if there are offers,’ said Klopp when asked if Phillips could leave.

‘We have to be prepared for pretty much everything, the 31st is deadline day and we will see.’


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