Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hits back at Gary Neville as five substitutes debate continues


Jurgen Klopp has hit back at Gary Neville in the ongoing debate about the amount of substitutes allowed in the Premier League.

Five substitutes were permitted per team per match when the English top flight returned after lockdown as clubs battled to manager player fitness following three months off.

The league have reverted back to three substitutes per match this season, much to Klopp’s chagrin, with the German having watched a number of the Reds’ top player succumb to injuries in recent months.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder believes the likes of Klopp are seeking to gain an advantage for their own clubs with Neville of a similar opinion.

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Klopp, however, has responded to the Sky Sports pundit to deny any such accusation.

“Gary Neville said something, but it is not about Liverpool,” he said in his pre-match press conference on Friday. “He should not think that I am like him. I am not like him. I speak about all players, not only Liverpool players.”

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Neville made the comments on Sky’s Monday Night Football programme where suggested Klopp was attempting to gain an advantage much in the same manner as his former manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, used to do.

“I don’t think Jurgen Klopp’s got a point around fatigue, around the length of time of pre-season or about the Saturday kick-offs,” he said.

“My view is that when you become a winning manager, and this is where Sir Alex got to and why they called him a whinging so and so for many years, the best managers they just want to win.

“The biggest risk to Klopp winning the league again this season is another big injury or two. So, he wants to try and gain that advantage to put some psychological thing into people’s minds. Sir Alex Ferguson did it for 15 or 16 years.

“Klopp has been the best manager in interviews for the last few years, he’s been the best manager on the pitch, he’s connected with the fans better than anybody else, his style of football is fantastic, but on Saturday he got done in an interview, and that’s very rare.

“He didn’t get his story right, he hasn’t got his evidence to back him up either in games played or in the Saturday kick-off slots. He just lost this particular one having been brilliant in all his other interviews that he’s done.

“He’s trying to gain an advantage to get results, that’s it.

“I played for a manager in Sir Alex Ferguson, every single season he wanted that advantage. He wanted the ability to recover more, to play at different times, so it suited Manchester United, and that’s what Klopp wants now.”

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