Jurgen Klopp has taken a second jab at BT Sport for scheduling a 12:30 PM kick-off for Liverpool on Saturday
In an interview with BT Sport (Daily Mail), Jurgen Klopp threw another verbal punch at BT Sport regarding the scheduling of Premier League fixtures in light of Liverpool’s Saturday afternoon kick-off against Brighton.
Liverpool lost 2-0 at home to Atalanta on Wednesday in the 5th round of the UEFA Champions League group stage and blew the chance to qualify for the knockouts with two games to spare.
Going into the game against Atalanta, Jurgen Klopp made 5 changes to the Liverpool side which beat Leicester City 3-0 at the weekend. He further made 4 changes in one go around the 61st-minute mark during the game in a bid to give rest to a handful of players.
The manager said that teams would face fitness issues due to games coming thick and fast, before taking a jab at BT Sport for scheduling Liverpool’s weekend Premier League fixture against Brighton and Hove Albion at 12:30 PM GMT on Saturday afternoon.
“I’m afraid to say but I think it (running out of steam) could happen not only to us but to other teams as well. You (BT Sport) my special friends ask us to go on Saturday at 12.30pm, which is nearly a crime to be honest.”
However, Klopp added that the fixture schedule had nothing to do with the result against Atalanta and that he was happy to just walk away with no injuries to any of his players.
“It has nothing to do with the game tonight but congratulations for that. My only interest in the moment is that I get a thumbs up, nobody injured, let’s recover immediately. We take it… The boys are completely disappointed, frustrated, really, but we don’t have time for it to be honest. It’s just get fresh legs as quick as possible and go again, that’s it.”
Klopp cited the reason for the loss against the Serie A side and implied that he was disappointed with the squad in the attacking department.
“Usually when the first half is done you’re settled a bit more but for some players who didn’t play for a while you could see it was very intense for them so we didn’t really find a way in the game to create. We didn’t have enough bodies between the lines, not enough bodies in behind and all these kind of things. I’m not surprised. It’s difficult to win a game (when you don’t have a shot on target).”
This was not the first time Klopp criticized the fixture scheduling by BT Sport in the past week. The Liverpool manager went on a long rant criticizing the broadcasters for coming up with packed fixture lists, and raised his concerns regarding the fitness of the players.