Jürgen Klopp has admitted that he is “not happy” about the injury that has ruled out Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana for up to four weeks, with the manager claiming he would not have played him during England’s 2-0 victory over Lithuania on Wednesday.
Klopp goes into Saturday’s Merseyside derby against Everton unable to call on the in-form midfielder due to a thigh issue, with captain Jordan Henderson also unavailable.
But despite his frustration, Klopp did not blame England manager Gareth Southgate after the two spoke earlier in the week about Lallana’s setback.
“It is absolutely normal to have contact with manager of national team,” Klopp said at his pre-match press conference on Friday. “We both share players. Of course I wasn’t happy.
“I couldn’t be less relaxed about this but it’s not about blaming Gareth Southgate. I wasn’t happy that Lallana played on Wednesday but it’s not my decision.”
Liverpool head into the derby fixture without their captain for the fifth match in a row, with the England international still struggling to recover from the foot injury he suffered in the victory over Tottenham last month.
“It’s only a question of time,” Klopp explained. “It’s nothing we could do. We have to be really careful with him. If there was a little chance that Hendo could run then he would do it.
“We can’t take a risk. It’s always too long with injuries. It’s not the best time, but nothing else to do.
“We’ll wait for the moment when he’s back again.”
The German raised concerns over the demand of the fixture list and the impact that it is having on his players, before suggesting that something needs to be done about the number of matches during the season.
“German players were also injured in the game. Their coaches aren’t happy either. We can handle situations better if we work together,” Klopp added.
“We can all say ‘they earn that much’, that’s true, but it doesn’t help in those situations. We aren’t the only team to suffer.”
Klopp went on to confirm that striker Daniel Sturridge remains unavailable as he recovers from injury, having not played since 4 February, but did reveal that both Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino are fit to play after being flown back from international duty in South America by a private jet chartered by the club in order to minimise the impact that the journey had on them.
“They are ok for this weekend,” he said of Coutinho and Firmino. “We will see how fresh they are. The club did everything to bring them back as soon as possible.
He added: “They had the most comfortable trip they could have had. They had success [with Brazil], both looked good. [It’s] Very important for us.”