Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has hit back at Gary Neville after the former Manchester United defender, now TV pundit, suggested that the Reds should forget about competing in the Champions League this season in order to give their chances of winning the Premier League title a boost.
In an interview with The Times earlier this week, Neville said:
The Champions League – if I was Liverpool, I would kick it into touch. I know that’s very hard to do but if they could go into February, March, April without it, I think they could have a real chance if they had free weeks. Why? I think their method is exhausting for the front three. The drop in quality below them, if there are injuries or playing Wednesday, Saturday, I think it will take its toll.
When asked about what he thought of the former England defender’s comments whilst at his press conference ahead of Liverpool’s trip to London to face Tottenham, Klopp replied:
How should that work? We don’t play Champions League, or what? Gary should come over and tell me exactly how that works. How do you prepare for a game when you don’t focus on it? Bring your kids into the Champions League, that would be funny. I don’t know what he means, to be honest. We have to play football. A lot of people play our games when we play Champions League football and that’s our job, that we do the best we can do in all those games. That’s what we try. We will see.
Klopp seemed keen not to make a huge deal of the comments, but he couldn’t help but have a little dig at Neville, saying it’s easy to say such things as a pundit, but not as a manager.
I don’t want to be too critical because I don’t know exactly how he said it, but sitting in the office and talking about football is a bit different to doing the job, to be honest. But it’s an opinion. What did he say about Manchester United? Nothing?