Liverpool V Everton at Anfield : Match Preview

31 March 2017 03:34
Liverpool V Everton - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Jurgen Klopp: I don't blame Gareth Southgate for Adam Lallana injury

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp does not blame England boss Gareth Southgate for Adam Lallana's injury but he is not happy about losing his key midfielder for the Merseyside derby.

Lallana sustained a thigh injury during the win over Lithuania but still managed to play all 90 minutes, having completed just over an hour of the friendly meeting with Germany four days previously.

Klopp has no issue with Southgate, who called the Liverpool manager this week to explain his decision to field Lallana in the World Cup qualifier at Wembley.

However, he felt the 28-year-old did not need to feature in Dortmund just three days after the intense Premier League encounter with top-four rivals Manchester City.

"I think it is absolutely normal to have contact with the manager of the national team," said Klopp.

"It is not about appreciating (the call) it is about the normal situation. We both share players.

"Of course I was not happy - someone said I was relaxed about the situation but I could not be less relaxed about this, but it is not about blaming Gareth Southgate.

"I was not happy that he played on Wednesday but it is not my decision and I respect 100 per cent the decisions of other managers because they have to respect my decisions, too.

"He (Lallana) made the line-up (against Germany) and he loves football that much he obviously didn't say, 'I should maybe wait another day'.

"I really think we could handle these situations better if we work together.

"As long as we do not work together we will have these situations all the time."

Klopp's midfield problems have been exacerbated by the news captain Jordan Henderson has suffered a setback in his recovery from a foot injury, which has kept him out since mid-February.

The England international is not expected to return to training until after next week so will not be ready for the midweek visit of West Brom or next weekend's trip to Stoke.

Striker Daniel Sturridge, out since early February with a virus and then a hip complaint, has started running outdoors again but is not yet involved with the squad and will not face Everton.

Meanwhile, Toffees boss Ronald Koeman has accused his Republic of Ireland counterpart Martin O'Neill of "not protecting" James McCarthy.

The Dutchman read out a prepared statement about the player's hamstring problem on Friday.

Koeman also said McCarthy "needs to take responsibility" with regard to the situation that has left the midfielder ruled out of Saturday's Merseyside derby.

After going into the international break having missed Everton's last two games because of a hamstring complaint, McCarthy was named in the Republic's starting line-up for their World Cup qualifier against Wales last Friday, only to then be forced to withdraw having pulled up just before kick-off.

Koeman, who was at loggerheads with O'Neill earlier this season over McCarthy's use by the Republic after suffering injury, was asked about the matter on Friday.

He had prepared for such a question and read from a sheet of paper, saying: "James had an injury when he reported for Ireland duty last week.

"Our medical team made the Ireland medical team aware of this, of course. Everton's medical team advised extreme caution, not only due to the current injury but due to previous injuries too, and the assessment by the Ireland medical team was that it would be a high risk for James to play against Wales.

"But, of course, James has a strong desire to play for his country. So, when asked if he was fit to play, he said he felt he was fit, and he was selected to start the game by the Ireland manager who, in my opinion, in this instance was not protecting the player.

"Clearly James was not fit to play. He had trained only for two days with Ireland and he broke down during the warming up.

"He played only one game from the start in 2017, and he did not play for three weeks before the Wales game.

"In my opinion, he would need at least one full week of training sessions with the team to be declared fit.

"I spoke to James, and he needs to take responsibility of this. But it is not the first time."

Koeman said further details of conversations he has had with McCarthy were "private" and that any talks with O'Neill and the Football Association of Ireland was a "case for the club", while adding he was "not surprised but disappointed" that the situation had occurred.

He also admitted it had been "maybe one of my worst international breaks" due to the injuries sustained by his players.

McCarthy's Republic team-mate Seamus Coleman is facing months out due to the horrific double fracture to his leg that he suffered in the Wales match, while Ramiro Funes Mori is likely to miss the rest of the season having torn his meniscus.

Source: PAR