Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has confirmed he won’t take control of his side’s FA Cup fourth-round replay against Shrewsbury Town, with Neil Critchley to direct a youthful squad.
Jason Cummings came off the bench to score twice on Sunday, earning a 2-2 draw that means League One side Shrewsbury will play a lucrative replay at Anfield early next month.
That match is set to fall within the Premier League’s inaugural mid-season fracture, with Klopp having previously promised his senior stars they would get time off to recover in front of the run-in.
“Look, our situation is the following: we have known that for a few weeks it’s like this,” Klopp told a news conference.
“Actually, we knew it a bit longer since it was always clear when we came through into another round it would be like this.
“In April 2019, we got a letter from the Premier League where they asked us to honor the winter break, not to organize international friendlies rather than to organize competitive games in respect of it.
“I have said to the boys two weeks ago, that we will have a winter break so that we won’t be there — it will be the kids who play that game because they cannot deal with us as no one cares about it.
“I know it isn’t very popular, but that’s how I see it and, the way I mentioned, the Premier League asked us to honor the winter break and that’s what we do it. If the FA [Football Association] doesn’t respect it then we cannot change.
“But we [the first-team squad and team ] won’t be there.”
2 — Liverpool have failed to win a game after being 2+ targets ahead for the first time since April 2018 when they drew 2-2 with West Brom at the Premier League, they had won their previous 47 such games. Pegged. pic.twitter.com/D5G2iLt1mA
Klopp explained he plans to give his team a week’s rest, where they will undergo individual training regimes from Melwood in order to remain fit.
He added:”That is exactly what the winter break is all about and then another contest tells us it is not that significant, so we needed to make these decisions before because the boys have a family.
“And the global players like Jordan Henderson, Virgil van Dijk, Gini Wijnaldum, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, these guys they have never [time] off this is the week.
“I said at the moment it was apparent that there would be a winter break months ago, before I understood the FA Cup could come in between, then we would respect it and we do.”