‘I had to make these changes’: Jurgen Klopp insists he was forced to name a different line-up as Liverpool crash out of FA Cup at the hands of Wolves Jurgen Klopp’s much-changed Liverpool side were dumped out of the FA Cup The Liverpool manager handed debuts to three teenagers for test with Wolves Daniel Sturridge,
‘I had to make these changes’: Jurgen Klopp insists he was forced to name a different line-up as Liverpool crash out of FA Cup at the hands of Wolves
- Jurgen Klopp’s much-changed Liverpool side were dumped out of the FA Cup
- The Liverpool manager handed debuts to three teenagers for test with Wolves
- Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, and Alberto Moreno also started the game
- However, his team produce a poor display and fell to a second successive defeat
- Klopp insists he had to make changes following a hectic festive schedule
The Liverpool manager handed debuts to three teenagers and gave rare starts to Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, and Alberto Moreno, but saw his team produce a poor display and fall to a second successive defeat for the first time this season.
Klopp insisted the hectic Christmas schedule and a bug afflicting a number of his senior players forced his hand as only James Milner and Dejan Lovren kept their places from the Manchester City loss.
Jurgen Klopp insisted that he had to make changes for Liverpool’s FA Cup clash with Wolves
But Lovren lasted just six minutes, suffering a hamstring injury to leave Klopp a huge defensive headache with Joe Gomez and Joel Matip already on the sidelines.
‘I had to make these changes,’ Klopp said. ‘A few players were really ill and then in the last session we lost Adam Lallana with a minor thing. After City we had a few players with sore throats.
‘There was no chance with pretty much all the players not here. We had to make late changes. Adam and Jordan [Henderson] were in our plans. Dejan should only have been on the bench.
‘We have to be sensitive with our situation. We came through a very intense period quite OK. The next intense period is waiting.’
Klopp hugs Ki-Jana Hoever after handing the 16-year-old his debut early on against Wolves
Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino came on for the final 20 minutes, while Sadio Mane sat out the contest. ‘The intensity of the last few games gave me information it is not possible to start the same three players up front,’ said Klopp.
Rafael Camacho, 18, and Curtis Jones, 17 made their full debuts and Ki-Jana Hoever, the 16-year-old centre-back, came on for Lovren. Each did well but Klopp admitted dissatisfaction.
‘We are not here to be the new world record holder for youngest team, they are good enough,’ Klopp said. ‘They train with us, 10 vs 10 and believe me they play much better than they did tonight. These boys all played because they are good enough. They did well but they can do much better.’
Klopp accepted it was difficult for his squad players to find ‘rhythm’ and also blamed the conditions. ‘The wind didn’t help, everybody on the pitch struggled to control, first touches were tough. We lost a lot of balls.’
Dejan Lovren lasted six minutes on Monday evening after suffering a hamstring injury
Nuno Espirito Santo kept a first-choice team, replacing only his goalkeeper Rui Patricio with John Ruddy, and was rewarded.
‘It was a very good performance in a tough game,’ said Nuno.
Ruben Neves scored the winner, a brilliant strike from long range. ‘It’s something Ruben does and we encourage him to do,’ Nuno added.
‘Last season saw it often. We know he has this talent. It was a very important moment for us and the fans. We had just lost a goal and to react with such a beautiful goal, Molineux came alive again.’
The Wolves manager would not be drawn on the incoming transfer of Tammy Abraham, on loan from Chelsea. ‘We will say when things are done,’ he said.