Jurgen Klopp has defended his playing and training methods after claims by Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce that he is to blame for Liverpool’s hamstring crisis.
Allardyce — who last week labelled Klopp a “soft German” — was one of a number of voices on Wednesday suggesting that the intensity the Reds boss has demanded of his players since he took over in October may be to blame for the freakish succession of hamstring injuries to hit the club.
The 1-0 victory in Tuesday’s Capital One Cup semifinal first leg at Stoke City came at a considerable cost, with Philippe Coutinho and Dejan Lovren the latest to sustain hamstring strains.
It follows current absences with the same problem for Martin Skrtel, Divock Origi, Jordan Rossiter and Daniel Sturridge, with Simon Mignolet also a recent victim, and Allardyce said the pattern may be partly due to Klopp not knowing what to expect from English football.
Klopp refuted this suggestion at a news conference on Thursday, saying: “I knew about the English Premier League, I knew about the fixtures. It’s not a problem.
“I’m glad for Sam, that such an experienced manager has time to think about Liverpool’s problems. I don’t really have time to think about this.
“We know about our situation. One injury at the wrong moment is a problem for the whole squad because another player has to play too much. You have to react to this. But I knew about the intensity of the football here.”
Questions have been raised — notably by former Liverpool captain and manager Graeme Souness — over whether Klopp’s pressing style takes its toll on his players’ legs.