Klopp plans FA Cup snub to focus on City Premier League visit
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Liverpool chief Jurgen Klopp will not take charge of the Reds’ FA Cup fourth round replay against Shrewsbury, and none of his big stars will feature, as they prepare for a Premier League trip to Norwich City.
Klopp made the admission after Sunday's 2-2 draw at the battling League One club. The replay is scheduled to take place the week commencing February 3, which is the start of a scheduled mid-winter Premier League break.
Both Liverpool and Daniel Farke's Canaries do not have a league fixture over the weekend of February 8, before they resume their respective battles at either end of the table on February 15 at Carrow Road.
The Champions League-winning Klopp insists he will not alter his original plans, with Under-23s' boss Neil Critchley set to take charge of the cup replay.
"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.
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"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."
Critchley previously took charge of a young Liverpool side for the League Cup quarter-final at Aston Villa last month, when the Reds were in Qatar winning the Club World Cup.
Klopp had a sharp response on Sunday when questioned whether his champions-elect, who lead Manchester City by 16 points at the top of the Premier League, needed a break.
"It's only in this country that you ask this kind of question. It's a winter break. What do you think?," he said. "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."