Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp said that he will not manage and field the first team in the FA Cup replay against Shrewsbury at Anfield as the Merseyside drew 2-2 against Shrewsbury. The FA Cup reply is scheduled in the second week of February which is in the middle of the winter break. Talking about the Premier League schedule, the manager said;
‘We got a letter in April from the Premier League that we should respect the winter break for the players,’
‘It’s not allowed to organize international friendlies or competitive games. And we respect that.”
For the Reds, it is the second time Liverpool are facing the scheduling issue in the 2019-20 season. Liverpool fielded their young side against Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup fixture which eventually led to their knockout from the domestic competition due to the senior side playing in the FIFA Club World Cup. Reiterating his stance on the break which is scheduled between February 2 to February 16, he said;
“We will not be there and it will be the kids. I know that is not very popular…The Premier League asked us to respect the winter break, and that is what we will do.”
“We have to respect the players’ welfare…They need a rest, a mental rest and physical rest. That is what the winter break is about…We had to make these decisions before because players have families.
I told the boys weeks ago they will have a winter break. You cannot promise everybody time off and then at the end take that away, I cannot work like this. So that is our solution.
‘We will not be there, it will be the kids that play that game. I know that’s not very popular but that’s the way I see it.”
Talking about the holidays that have been played very early by the players of the Merseyside. He said;
They don’t have it ‘off’, they train but for themselves. They have running programmes, they have fitness programmes, that’s all they do.
“They never have ‘off’ time [but] they don’t come to Melwood and they don’t play football.”
Can the young Liverpool side spring the surprise for Jurgen Klopp by defeating Shrewsbury at Anfield or will Klopp’s sacrifice go in vain? Comment down below.