January 19, 2021

Liverpools pre-match routine changed as Jurgen Klopp deals with busy schedule – Liverpool Echo

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/liverpools-pre-match-routine-changed-19357623

Jurgen Klopp says he won’t be making any excuses over fatigue when Liverpool travel to Brighton for Saturday’s early kick-off.

The injury-hit Reds are on the south coast for the weekend’s 12.30pm fixture after a 2-0 defeat to Atalanta in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

Klopp has been critical over the decision to give teams the Saturday afternoon game after midweek exertions in Europe, a viewpoint backed up by Manchester United counterpart, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who accused the authorities of setting his side up to fail at Everton this month.

After being particularly vocal on his opposition to being made to play on a Wednesday night and a Saturday afternoon in the same week, the Liverpool manager believes his words are being ignored by those in a position to help.

“Look, I talk about these kind of things when I think it makes sense and when I think it’s necessary,” Klopp said.

“I spoke about all these things a lot in the last few weeks, that we have to save the players. That’s over now. I can’t do anything about it so I don’t think about it in this moment.

“My only concern now is we have to use the few hours we have to make them as fresh as possible.

“I’m not a miracle worker, I cannot do that, but we have to make sure that whatever we can do from a recovery point of view we do, and we did.

“The boys are fit and good and we have to make sure we play a good game.

“What’s really tricky is you ask me these questions knowing it’s an issue but are not working on sorting the issue.

“I think that is poor to be honest. When I say it I am the moaner or whatever you call me, and if you don’t say anything then nobody speaks about it. But if you say something you only write what I say.

“From your question it seems that you also think it could be quite tough but nothing has changed. We deal with the situation.

“We don’t go for excuses. I spoke to my boys already and told them that I’ve spoken about the subject a lot but that means nothing for us – I only expect us to be 100 per cent there at 12.30 tomorrow and nothing else.

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“That doesn’t mean it’s not necessary to talk about it. The outcome of the things we said you can read in the schedule, and people are telling us you cannot change it now.”

Klopp has also been insistent on his stance that Premier League teams should be allowed to make five substitutes per game given the condensed nature of the football calendar this term.

After the proposals were rejected by a vote earlier this season, Klopp claimed that the position of the majority who initially opposed it had now changed.

He added: “We still have no other word on five subs even though we had a meeting among the managers where it was clear, if we had counted that day, it would have been at least 15-5 if not 16-4 (the threshold to push through a change).

“But we couldn’t vote and obviously since then I don’t know if they changed their minds or whatever. But that’s how it was. Nothing has changed. Why should we talk about it?”

Asked what it was specifically that has to change when involved in a Saturday lunchtime game so soon after a midweek match, Klopp – whose Liverpool team can go top with victory over Brighton – detailed the changes in preparation.

“The routines are only moved a few hours,” he said. “We played Wednesday night so Thursday morning is then a session and we have to go in the morning because of the bio-rhythms.

“So we train round about 12 otherwise if we played later the boys could sleep a little bit longer.

“You can imagine after a game like Wednesday, not only because we lost, but because of the intensity of the game the boys don’t sleep well.

“So the best sleep you get is early in the morning between 6am and 10am – if you can sleep that long. Then you train with the boys who didn’t play, the others recover.

“Today (Friday) is the only session we have obviously but it is in the same moment, it is second day recovery, so there is no intensity it is just tactical stuff because obviously Brighton play differently to Atalanta.

“Saturday morning, the difference when you have 12.30 kick-off you have the pre-match meal at 9am which means pasta and all these kind of things at 9am.

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“You get up at 7.30am and then we have a walk before breakfast and then we have pre-match [meeting] and then you play.

“If you play in the afternoon obviously the boys sleep longer and you can ask whoever you want and sleep is a big part in recovery.

“So that is how it is. That is why I have never spoken about [having a problem] with Wednesday-Saturday (3pm) not being possible – that’s a completely normal routine for us – it is about Wednesday and 12.30 Saturday should not be possible.

“Whatever I say here – and if you ask sports science people who have nothing to do with football or Liverpool or with anything – they will tell you exactly the same. It is not me it is the situation.”