Liverpool: Neil Critchley defends Jürgen Klopp over FA Cup replay stance
Jürgen Klopp has come under fire for his approach to the FA Cup replay against Shrewsbury Town but Neil Critchley sees the German's point of view.
Liverpool's Under-23s coach Neil Critchley admitted that he doesn't know how much input Jürgen Klopp will have with the team ahead of tomorrow's Tuesday's FA Cup Fourth Round replay against Shrewsbury Town - if he has any at all. But he says he appreciates the support that the Reds boss has given the club's younger players.
Liverpool's first team players deserve a rest
Klopp has put Critchley in charge of the replay at Anfield but announced after last month's 2-2 draw that none of the senior players will take part in the replay - as it was scheduled during the mid-season break - the first time that the Premier League has organised time off for teams to take a breather.
Klopp has come in for some criticism from sections of the fans both for passing his duties to Critchley and only making "the kids" available for the replay. Critchley was left in charge for the EFL Carabao Cup quarter-final against Aston Villa in December which neither Klopp nor his senior players could take part in as they were in Doha disputing the Club World Cup. He defended the German's decision to grant his first team players time off - just like the rest of the Premier League clubs have done with their playing staff.
Klopp gives Liverpool's academy players "unbelievable supprt"
"I think the manager has made it quite clear with the statement and what he said prior to the game," he said. "He gives myself, the staff, the players unbelievable support. I can speak to him whenever I like when I'm down here, he supports the young players unbelievably well – as he's shown so far this season. So his presence, even if he isn't there, is always felt by our younger players and by myself. I always think maybe one per cent that came into his thinking the way we played against Aston Villa, maybe thought the boys deserved an opportunity."
Critchley gave little away when asked if he will speak to Klopp on the night of the game. "I don't know, I don't need to think about that at the moment," he added. "He did during the Aston Villa game, because he felt it was the right thing to do. We'll see, but I won't want to divulge too much information what we are going to do before and at half-time, because I can't guarantee that, I never know."
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