Jurgen Klopp admits to mistakes over Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fitness after Liverpool substitutions

David Lynch
Evening Standard
Liverpool FC via Getty Images
Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has admitted he may have misjudged Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s fitness levels before withdrawing him against Manchester United.

The midfielder has cut a frustrated figure after being replaced by Adam Lallana just past the hour mark in each of Liverpool’s last two outings - a 1-0 victory at Tottenham and Anfield win over rivals United.

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According to Klopp, the Englishman’s exasperation related to a feeling that he could have played on for longer, rather than any disappointment in his individual performance.

But he offered no apologies for making use of his options off the bench and suggested that Oxlade-Chamberlain’s injury history is one of his considerations.

He continued: “Oxlade is in a good shape. He’s not [frustrated], he just looks like this. I asked him. It’s all fine.

“It’s normal that a player wants to play 90 minutes, we have to learn from our own past.

“Oxlade is an unbelievably important player for us and there are moments in a game when players get a bit tired [but] they show up again.

“I try to read the players during a game and try to understand in which moment or situation they are energy level-wise and make a decision.

“Sometimes, I hit the point, and sometimes not. Maybe with Ox, last time I was a bit too early, but he got a knock on top of that.

“He got a knock, he was limping a little bit, and if a midfielder is limping you start looking in more detail and if in one or two defensive situations the midfielder is not there where he should be it has an impact.

“Then we have to make a decision and maybe after the game it didn’t feel that bad anymore with the knock he got, but that’s good, absolutely good.

“It’s all okay, most of the time we had really good options to make substitutions and in this case as well.

“Adam [Lallana] came on in the last few games and helped us a lot; in this game, the first situation he was maybe not too lucky and then he had to restart but he’s an incredibly important player for us.

“We have good options, as long as we have good options we will make changes.”

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