"We cannot do that like this anymore" - Klopp defends FA Cup replay stand

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Jurgen Klopp insists he is not disrespecting the FA Cup by leaving their 4th round replay in the hands of Liverpool's U23 side and their manager Neil Critchley. 

The German has been a lightning rod for the ire of cup traditionalists having revealed after their 2-2 draw with Shrewsbury at Montgomery Waters Meadow that he would not be in charge for the replay at Anfield.

Klopp told his pre-West Ham press conference "we want to play football as often as possible - but that's the key word, 'possible' - you cannot play constantly."

This is the first season that the Premier League has implemented a mid-season break, and Klopp says he's merely adhering to its terms by not fielding a senior side for the game with the Shrews.

While claiming he's not a revolutionary, the German is happy to have sparked a conversation about the glut of games players are asked to fulfill at this stage of the season.

Klopp says the schedule limits careers and limits performance levels, adding that the U23 squad deployed for the Shrewsbury game, "from a football point of view, I say these boys need their coach and not me standing there acting like a coach.

"They need 'Critch' and they get 'Critch'".

The Reds boss dismisses the idea that he is disrespecting the tradition of the FA Cup, saying, "I love cup competitions - in seven years at Dortmund I think I was 3 or 4 times in a Cup final.

"It's nothing to do with that, it's I have to see the bigger picture and that's what I do."

Many have highlighted the financial bonus an FA Cup replay offers to lower division sides, but Klopp says a solution needs to be found where 'smaller clubs' are not so reliant on replays for income, "nobody wants to take the money away from the smaller clubs, but a replay is not the solution".

The "bigger picture" Klopp is taking in also includes the summer of 2021 which will be another busy one for his squad, "I have said this a lot of times. In 2021 we have a Copa America and another European competitions, we now have a bigger Club World Cup.

"I constantly have to talk about this, if we don’t have a discussion then there a bigger Champions League, here is another game."

Mané out

Injuries have certainly taken their toll on the Liverpool squad this season, and Sadio Mané is the latest player facing a spell on the sidelines.

The Senegalese international forward suffered a "small muscle tear" in last week's win away to Wolves and will miss the games with West Ham and Southampton as a result.

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