Belfast Telegraph

Klopp brushes off soft German jibe as Sturridge returns

By Eleanor Crooks

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp laughed off Sam Allardyce's "soft German" remark, joking he had been called much worse.

Sunderland boss Allardyce made the comment after Klopp reacted angrily to a challenge from Jeremain Lens on Mamadou Sakho in Liverpool's 1-0 victory at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday night.

Klopp stood by his claim that Lens should have been sent off rather than shown a yellow card for the tackle.

The Reds boss was in jovial mood ahead of tomorrow's clash with West Ham, and said with a chuckle: "Maybe hammer is more my second name than soft."

Responding to Allardyce, he said: "It's absolutely not a problem. A lot of people have said worse things about me. Soft German, I think it's the first time somebody has said that about me, so (that's) cool.

"If you see the situation again then you know that I was not too wrong in judging the moment. Mama is still alive and everything is okay but, in my opinion, situations like this one have to be judged differently than other things.

"If you compare yellow cards in a game and think, 'this is yellow', then what's this? That's all I want to say. But I had no arguments with Sunderland's bench."

Had things worked out differently, Klopp could have been in the home dugout for tomorrow's clash at Upton Park.

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan revealed this week that he approached Klopp in the summer about becoming Hammers boss but the German wanted a break after leaving Borussia Dortmund.

"In the summer I was not available," said the German.

"I was certain that I needed a few days for myself without thinking too much about football. That's what I did.

"I'm a lucky guy that there was a lot of interest from different clubs. If West Ham want to talk about it then they can do it. It's a really good club but it was the wrong time for all the clubs, so nothing to do with West Ham or what I think about West Ham."

Liverpool look set to have striker Daniel Sturridge back for tomorrow's match.

Sturridge declared himself fit and available on Boxing Day but, because of the England man's history of injury problems, Klopp was determined not to rush him back.

Neither James Milner nor Divock Origi will be fit and Klopp must wait on midfielders Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson.

Allen missed the Sunderland match through illness while captain Henderson was substituted in the second-half because of pain in his heel.

It is a potentially worrying development for Henderson, who revealed earlier in December that he has a chronic condition.

Klopp said: "We have to wait a little bit. It was something with the heel but it could be good news for him, that's what we are all hoping. Something like a final pain and then it goes in the other direction.

"Hendo is a real tough guy. Yesterday he tried and we saw it's not perfect, so let's change. Now we have to wait a few hours more or maybe a day or two and then we'll know more."

Belfast Telegraph


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