Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will play ‘the kids’ in the FA Cup replay against Shrewsbury and leave the game to U23 boss Neil Critchley because of the winter break.
Shrewsbury’s remarkable comeback earned the League One team an FA Cup fourth-round replay at Anfield – but the opposition’s star names will not be joining them there.
The replay is scheduled for the week commencing February 3, during the winter break that was built into the Premier League season, and Klopp has no intention of altering the plans.
“In April 2019 we got a letter from the Premier League, I think, where they asked us to respect the winter break, not to organise international friendlies or not to organise competitive games,” said Klopp.
“And we respect that. I said to the boys two weeks ago, ‘we will have a winter break’.
“It means we will not be there. It will be the kids who play that game.
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“You cannot deal with us like nobody cares about it. I know it’s not very popular but that’s the way I see it. The Premier League asked us to respect the winter break. That’s what we do. If the FA doesn’t respect it we cannot change it. We will not be there.”
Klopp also confirmed that Critchley will take charge of the team, just as he did for the Carabao Cup quarter-final against Aston Villa that Liverpool lost 5-0.
On that occasion, Liverpool’s senior squad was in Qatar competing for the Club World Cup but this time it is about giving his players a proper rest.
Asked if they needed this rest, Klopp added: “It’s only in this country that you ask this kind of question. It’s a winter break. What do you think?
“I can give you the letter. We have to respect the players’ welfare and that they need a rest – mental rest and physical rest.
“That’s what the winter break is about and then another competition tells us it’s not that important. So we have to make this decision because the boys have family.
“The international players are never off so this is the week – and I said months ago, before I knew the FA Cup could come in between – that it’s a winter break. So we will respect it.”Copyright © 2020 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.