Friday 23 February 2018

Sam Allardyce apologises to Jurgen Klopp: 'I didn't mean to upset you or criticise Liverpool'

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp and Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce
Reuters / Andrew Yates
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp and Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce Reuters / Andrew Yates

Chris Bascombe

Sam Allardyce has apologised to Jurgen Klopp after he suggested the German had caused Liverpool’s injury crisis by asking his players to work too hard physically over the hectic Christmas period.

Allardyce insisted he had not meant to upset Klopp in a radio interview and admitted he should not have commented when asked to give his view on why Liverpool players are picking up so many injuries, including the three victims of hamstring strains during the Capital One Cup semi-final against Stoke earlier this week.

Klopp and Allardyce clashed on the touchline during Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light last week and Allardyce further inflamed the situation by describing the Liverpool manager as a “soft German” after he had complained about a Jeremain Lens tackle on Mamadou Sakho.

The relationship appeared to be a tense one, but Allardyce has tried to call an end to hostilities after Klopp delivered a withering response to his radio interview.

“I am glad for Sam,” Klopp said when asked about Allardyce. "Such an experienced manager, that he has time to think about Liverpool's problems - I don't have time to think about this.”

Allardyce tried to explain himself and insisted Klopp is a fantastic manager and someone he wants to fall out with.

"I got asked a question by a friend of mine, Alan Brazil, on talkSPORT,” explained Allardyce. “'What do you think the injuries are down to?', and I gave an opinion of the question that Alan asked me, which was perhaps the high-pressing game in all the games that they have had created that little bit more fatigue and that was maybe a cause of why they have picked up so many hamstrings.

"It was a question that Alan asked me, I answered it and never expected it to bring the headlines it's brought.

"But if Jurgen is listening, I didn't mean to upset you or criticise your club in any way, I was just giving what I could see as maybe one of the reasons why we get injuries.

"I am very wary of the amount of work we do in the week now in the hope that our players have enough energy to do the running they need to do in this period of time to try to get a result, and we are all suffering because of it.

"I'll probably suffer some injuries, no doubt, by the end of next week when we have played three games in a short period of time, but we are trying to manage it.

"I was just trying to say that he hasn't experience this level of football before and maybe that might be one of the causes."

Asked if the pair had fallen out, Allardyce replied: "I hope not. I had no intention of trying to wind him up. Alan asked me to talk about Sunderland, he threw the question in at the end and maybe I should have said, 'It's not for me to answer, it's for Jurgen'. I don't know."

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