'Our XI was not disrespectful to the FA Cup' - Jurgen Klopp unconcerned by fixture congestion
Published 30/01/2016 | 21:05
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp shrugged off the prospect of having to play yet another match after a goalless draw at home to West Ham meant an FA Cup fourth-round replay.
A ninth match in 29 days forced the Reds boss, who is still managing a number of injuries, to make wholesale changes to his side but the younger players he brought in acquitted themselves well and should probably have won the game.
As it is they will have to go to Upton Park the week after next, meaning they have lost the chance of a much-needed break with a seventh successive midweek now pencilled in.
"There is nothing to say. It is how it is. I think the most important thing is everyone could see our line-up was not disrespectful to the FA Cup," said Klopp.
"It was the other way around. We thought this was the best chance for us to go through.
"They have not played together often but this young team did really well.
"We had a good structure. We had chances. We should have scored in one of the other situations. At the end it is a draw. Now we play again.
"We have another game against Everton we have to find a place for (it has been moved because of Liverpool's place in the Capital One Cup final).
"With all the things we did until now the only things we have created are next games."
Klopp was asked whether the extra games would affect what business he does before Monday's closing of the transfer window.
"We buy a team for the rematch? Ten players or 11?" he joked.
"It should not be the reason, one game more.
"We could rest the team [who played against] Stoke so we will have fresh legs against Leicester (on Tuesday). That is good news.
"It doesn't feel brilliant in this moment but when we go to West Ham we will have the chance to go again into the next round.
"Hopefully one of the players will come back from injuries in the next few weeks."
Liverpool dominated the game after West Ham lost James Tomkins and Cheikhou Kouyate to injury in the first half and the visitors were indebted to back-up goalkeeper Darren Randolph for a string of saves.
"Adrian flew this morning to Seville. His wife's baby delivery is due tomorrow and we wish him luck and for that to go smooth but Randy would have been in goal anyway," said manager Slaven Bilic.
"He was in goal against Wolves in the cup and we decided he would play against Liverpool and in the replay.
"Randy is great and deserved to be in goal and proved again he deserves it.
"He is the Republic of Ireland number one and because of him Ireland are in the European Championships so we have a great goalkeeper."
With more injuries added to his list - Tomkins had 13 stitches in a head wound and Kouyate was taken off as a precaution because of a groin problem - Bilic was also not that enamoured with an extra game.
"Nobody is crazy about the replays but we can live with that," he said.
"We have injuries but make no mistake, we would have liked to be without the replay.
"We got the clean sheet and deserve the replay and now it will be one of those historical FA Cup nights at Upton Park.
"The first half it was a very even game, both clubs had some moments up front but not clear-cut chances, and in the second half until the last 10 minutes they were better than us.
"Maybe some people did not expect this Liverpool team to be so good but it was not a surprise to me."